DoH unveils new wave of GP dashboard pilots

The government has announced a second round of sites to pioneer clinical 'dashboards', which will give hundreds more practices access to up to date information on urgent care admissions.

Dashboards will give hundreds more practices access to up to date information on urgent care admissions
Dashboards will give hundreds more practices access to up to date information on urgent care admissions

A clinical dashboard is a software tool that gives GPs a real time data on urgent care admissions.

The DoH hopes a version of this tool developed by NHS Bolton can be rolled out nationwide to reduce urgent care admissions by 10% as part of the government’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda.

Now, the DoH has chosen 12 PCTs and GP pathfinder consortia from the 40 commissioning bodies that applied in January to become a pioneer site for the project.

These groups will now use a template developed by NHS Bolton to produce their own, customised software tool allowing GPs to view urgent care activity of patients on their practice list.

Figures released on Wednesday show the 56 practices that signed up to the tool in NHS Bolton helped to save the NHS an estimated £600,000 in 2009/10 using the tool.

One practice in Bolton reduced urgent hospital admissions by 20%, while in another the tool saved an average of 57 patients from attending A&E per month – equating to an efficiency saving of £63,000 per year.

Health minister Lord Howe, said: ‘It’s so encouraging to see innovative clinicians in Bolton taking the lead to join up systems to improve patient care and reduce A&E attendances.

‘The GP urgent care dashboard means practices can be more proactive in managing and predicting the healthcare needs of their patients, especially for the most vulnerable and those with long-term conditions.’

He added: ‘This is a great example of what we want to see more of – GPs working with hospitals to provide the care their patients need.  We want to see more innovations led by clinicians that will lead to more efficient and personalised care in a modern NHS.’

Clinical dashboard software displays a regularly updated view of a practice list’s urgent care activity, including whether patients have been admitted to hospital overnight.

As well as helping with the QIPP programme, it may also help GPs work towards referral and urgent admissions targets in the new quality and productivity domain in the QOF.

The full list of the 12 pioneer sites in England is as follows:

  • NHS Brighton and Hove
  • NHS Devon
  • NHS Cambridgeshire
  • NHS Central Lancashire
  • Newham Health Partnership / Newham Commissioning Group
  • NHS Northamptonshire
  • NE Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus / NHS North Lincolnshire / North Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Central London Healthcare Pathfinder GP Consortium
  • NHS Oxfordshire
  • South Cheshire and Vale Royal GP Commissioning Consortiums
  • NHS Stoke on Trent and NHS North Staffordshire
  • NHS Tees

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