We wanted to share an update with you about some upcoming changes at JHP.
Resilience and adaptability have been some of the watchwords of the last nearly two years. Not just in the NHS, but elsewhere as we have all adapted to new ways of working, communicating, and living our lives.
Moving to Digital First
The most significant change at JHP was our switch to Salvie/AskMyGP in July of 2020. It was a radical departure from our previous model and a shift from the traditional way people thought of and accessed their GP’s services.
While we made the switch against the backdrop of the early months of the pandemic, where remote consultations and minimising in-person contact was vital, there was also a motivation that pre-existed covid.
Getting an appointment to see a Doctor was hard. You had to call at the right time, wait to get through, and then hope an appointment would be available in the next two weeks. It was even more difficult if you wanted to see a specific GP or were restricted by what days or times you could attend.
While covid was an accelerating factor, we made a change we needed to make. The results have spoken for themselves.
Just last week, JesmondLocal published a story about how embracing digital has cut waiting times from 2 weeks to 3 hours.
A Chance for Change
Sometimes circumstances align and present you with an opportunity to speed up your evolution. We find ourselves again in that position.
Like any small business, a GP practice will have a natural staff turnover as people retire or move on to other challenges.
We have some planned departures coming up, and with additional funding becoming available and a ‘digital first’ model established, we have an opportunity to make some positive changes to the team.
Here’s a specific example. We will shortly be advertising for a Social Prescribing Link Worker (SPLW) to join the team. SPLWs focus on helping people with non-medical issues, connecting them to services and helping to empower people.
Our new SPLW will focus on helping people to be able to use our ‘digital first’ model. So rather than recruiting another receptionist or administrator to take calls and enter queries into Salvie for patients, we’ll be making people more confident and able to do it themselves and genuinely take advantage of the flexibility the system offers.
As well as advertising to bring new GPs to the practice and a new Practice Nursed Team Lead to take over when Susan Mensforth begins her well-deserved retirement, we’ll also be bringing in a new Health Care Assistant to work with the nursing team. Part of the extra funding to primary care is to help catch up with backlogs of routine work, and increasing our skill mix in the team will be a big part of that.