This consortium of 26 practices created an urgent care centre at a hospital emergency department in a deprived London borough, where a significant number of patients were not registered with a GP, and were presenting with urgent or semi-urgent problems.
Local GPs were recruited to work sessions at the centre and, by acting as the patient’s advocate, they were able to responsibly advise, treat or redirect people from the front door within 20 minutes of arrival. Some 58% of attendees were treated by the GPs, who successfully redirected a further 20% either back to the community or to other more suitable healthcare providers.
RCGP president Professor Mike Pringle presents the award
The success of the initiative freed up resources from local commissioners that Haverstock Health was able to utilise to start a case-finding model for at-risk elderly patients. This used risk stratification tools, community nurses, primary care staff and hospital nurses and consultants, to pro-actively manage patients in the community before they presented acutely to the A&E. The service has been identified as a contributing factor to saving nearly two wards’ worth of beds.
Dr Chris Smith, chief executive of Haverstock Healthcare and a Camden GP, said the 'secret ingredient' of the urgent care centre was that it was set up to be just like a GP practice.
'They dress like GPs, carry bags like GPs, the waiting room is the same, and they only have access to the tests and facilities of a normal practice.
'We are educating these patients back in to the local GP system. It's an extension of our GP practices rather than a separate practice.'
THE JUDGES SAID:
This team has shown great energy and focus to deliver impressive results in a priority area
The GP Enterprise Awards are organised by GP magazine and GPonline, in association with the RCGP and sponsored by the MDU. Each of the six category winners receives £1,000 and has the chance to become the overall winner in a vote by the profession - and win a further £4.000.
To vote for this practice as the overall winner of the GP Enterprise Awards 2014 - and be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad Mini - vote online now.