Case study: Our ability to deliver services that add value and improve efficiency
Online consultations (OCs) were introduced at the start of the Covid pandemic as an alternative to the traditional face to face consultation. The intention was always that OCs would represent an additional way of conducting patient consultations – they were not meant to add to existing workload, just provide another access route. The reality for the majority of GPs is that OCs were generating additional work which was difficult for practices to manage. ABC identified the need for practices’ OCs to be managed centrally, as part of an eHub solution, thus giving practices more time to manage f2f patients and those appointments made via existing routes such as phone or in the practice.
Sussex ICB made funding available for practices working collaboratively to be part of an eHub solution – this could be at PCN or federation level but the funding was not available to individual practices. 20 ABC practices across Mid Sussex, Horsham and Crawley asked ABC to create and run the eHub on their behalf. Very few eHubs were already running so it was difficult to learn from existing models.
We went live with a primary eHub solution but it quickly became apparent that, despite extensive research pre go-live, a primary eHub was not a “one size fits all” solution. For practices with strong triage protocols and processes we therefore now offer a secondary eHub solution. We are the only eHub to run as both a primary and secondary service.
We now run the only Sussex eHub to run with more than one clinical system and to operate with more than one OC provider (eConsult and Silicon/Footfall)
Results have been oustanding with 100% patient satisfaction and all practices who responded to survey confiirming that the eHub service had freed up capacity, allowing them to see more patients.