She led an acute visiting scheme for Halton and St Helens PCT which won the NHS Live Award for its development of a rapid access home visit scheme for patients offering them a comprehensive GP assessment.
Urgent home visit requests from patients for conditions such as chest pain usually result in hospital admission, unless the patient is seen within an hour by a GP. With studies suggesting 50% of these admissions are unnecessary, a dedicated GP visited patients requesting urgent home visits during the day and there was a 30% drop in hospital admissions saving £1m.
Patient benefits included improved access, the opportunity to be cared for at home and a reduced chance of picking up infection. Patient satisfaction was 90%.
Dr Pitalia, who also won the GP Enterprise Award for a ‘text to cancel' idea, said: ‘We've improved healthcare for a population of around 100,000 patients and hope that other trusts adopt our scheme to make that number grow.'
The other primary care project which was successful in the 14 award categories was North East Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus's Open Door project in the Improving Health and Reducing Inequalities Award for helping people without access to mainstream health services get the help they need.
Starting with 23 patients with a history of challenging behaviour, the project has grown to include a care centre offering services such as a café, cookery lessons, and alternative therapies for all vulnerable people in the community.
- Editors' Blog: GP award season in full swing
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