As a Partnership we are working closely with GP practices to explore new methods of working that will help them provide the right care at the right time for patients. One such example of innovative working is already proving a success at St Luke’s Primary Care Centre in Duston, Northampton.
In response to a series of GP partner retirements in 2014/15 and difficulties finding direct replacements, the St Luke’s team analysed the practice’s workflows and looked at how a different approach to recruitment could help meet patients’ needs.
As a result, the team refocused its recruitment drive to bring in more nurses and provided more training for its existing nurses in minor illness. This was coupled with the introduction of a new pre-triage process to direct patients to the right practice professional at the right time, while a new primary care consultant role was created to support the team.
In addition to its GP team, St Luke’s now has 10 other professionals in place to meet demand for same day appointments – and the pre-triage process has turned out to be hugely beneficial for both patients and staff. By responding to a recruitment challenge with some smart forward thinking, the practice is reaping the benefits.
Dr Tom Howseman, GP partner at St Luke’s, said: “The development and implementation of our pre-triage process has benefited our practice staff and patients. It has helped with team building, staff personal development and the sustainability of our practice. We are now able to offer well over 10,000 more urgent appointments each year!”