A Newham GP practice has been named as a finalist in the prestigious, national HSJ Value Awards. Stratford Village Surgery has been shortlisted for the Primary Care Initiative of the Year for its innovative new online triage and consultation service.
Patients at the practice now have a much shorter wait for a doctor’s appointment when they need one, as waiting times for appointments at Stratford Village Surgery have been cut from two weeks to one or two days and all urgent cases are now seen on the day.
The HSJ Value Awards are held annually by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) and seek to recognise and reward outstanding efficiency, improvements in patient care and reduction in variation.
Since introducing the new system, the surgery has seen a 22 per cent increase in resolved patient requests and it is now able to meet 100 per cent of enquiries within 48 working hours; while missed appointments halved within a month.
Stratford Village Surgery serves 10,000 patients and was finding it increasingly difficult to meet demand. Many patients were asked to call back the next day for an appointment, some waited outside the surgery before it opened or had to wait up to two weeks to be seen.
The practice was determined to improve access to care and understand the needs of patients so it was in a better position to meet them. The priority was for GPs to spend more of their time seeing patients who needed to be seen, as quickly as possible.
Working in collaboration with NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and digital healthcare solutions company Egton, the surgery in Romford Road, Stratford, launched its online triage service in July last year. Most patients are directed here first and the online consultation can be completed at any time and provides patients with self-help information and signposting to services. If patients still need to consult with a doctor, they are instructed to answer some simple questions and their responses produce a report that goes directly to GPs to review.
Dr Bhupinder Kohli, GP and medical director at Stratford Village Surgery, said: “We are delighted to see our innovative work to improve waiting times has been recognised by the HSJ. We serve a lot of people in Newham and our priority has always been to ensure the right people get the right support as soon as possible. We hope the awards help show other practices across London and the UK what digital innovation can do to improve patient’s experience.”