June 2021 Update

EQUIP still offers standard QI coaching (see our mission statement below) but due to Covid we are being asked more and more to help practices deliver a Digital Offer. This can be accessed within the Digital 2020 tab. We have therefore revamped the website to give some really practical help on:

Please click on any of the above digital offers for more information on how you can implement these within your practice.

We also know that staff are under a lot of pressure. We have therefore updated our staff Wellbeing section to explain what support is currently on offer.  Please check out the Wellbeing tab. Additionally under the Wellbeing tab, we have an exciting new section called Thinking Space, which helps individuals, teams and organisations better understand themselves. We really hope this is useful.

Please have a look at the new material and ask your QI coach or email the EQUIP team here for further help.

Our Latest Newsletter (11/08/2021)

On the 22nd of July, EQUIP hosted an interactive and informative event on online consultation systems for practices across the breadth of NEL last month. We had users of the four most popular systems present their experience in virtual breakout rooms and participants got to hear the good and not so good of each.

With the looming procurement decisions that need to be made in the next few weeks, the aim of the session was to obtain insight from actual users of the software. The Digital First team are hosting a follow up session on the 17th August from 13:00 – 14:00, where we will hear from the suppliers themselves click here to register.

Each system has its own strengths and attached to this email is the outline from each provider. Some of the key points to consider in making your choice on a system are:

·         Whether you want the ability to switch off submission of forms over weekends or other times, or not;

·         Preference around the amount of information the patient is required to provide in the form. Weighing up the advantage of a simple, more accessible form, versus a more complex form with an algorithm built in. Longer forms can limit someone from submitting multiple forms per day;

·         If you need a system that integrates into EMIS or not.

While it’s important to consider your technical set up and the functionality of the system, a number of themes around utilising your own workforce effectively and enabling patients to actually use the technology came up in discussion. These were a few of the key points:

·         It’s crucial to pay attention to times of the day that are busier. Early mornings tend to be quieter and requests tend to be submitted after 11 am were observations made by a practice

·         Triage the triage list – having a process where you can prioritise more urgent issues etc.

·         Setting realistic expectations for feedback from doctors and ensuring you have the right staffing levels to enable this. For example, one practice undertakes triage and replies within 48 hours, but communicates to the patient that a doctor will contact on them on X date.

·         The importance of patient engagement. A number of practices across City and Hackney involved their PPG in the procurement decision. Another practice advised that they appointed a patient ambassador to assist patients to use askmyGP while another mentioned that they have a member of their PPG who acts as a ‘digital patient champion’ to get patients on the journey.

Online Consultation Systems: NEL Procurement Process – 17th August 13:00 – 14:00

Join our colleagues in the Digital First team for an informative session where they will be sharing an update on the procurement process for Online Consultation systems within NEL.

Topics covered will include:

  • Outcomes from the NEL OC system questionnaire 
  • What are the key timelines and steps for procurement of online consultation systems for NEL practices
  • What decisions practices will need to make and when

This is a NEL wide event and will be of interest to practice/ PCN leadership teams.

To register for this session please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nel-online-consultation-system-update-tickets-166150166621

Have a great summer!

The EQUIP Team


EQUIP – The WHY we should embrace QI

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The EQUIP Mission Statement

Making Tower Hamlets the best place to work, and the best place to receive care.

The world of General Practice is currently under significant pressure. Across the board budgets are being cut, and resources constrained. ‘On top of this, practices face a rapidly growing population, thus in turn increasing demand for GP services. The growing population has different health needs from those of the past, forcing practices to re-evaluate the efficacy of their business models and clinical processes. As a result of these challenges, practice staff are under unprecedented levels of stress, leading to recruitment and retention challenges.

Our response to these conditions is to roll up our sleeves, and address these issues head on. The EQUIP (Enabling Quality Improvement in Practice) programme is designed to do just that, by providing practice staff with the tools to create meaningful and lasting change. This is done by allowing practices to work on what matters most to them through a tried and tested Quality Improvement methodology. By doing this, we hope to improve the lives of staff and develop a culture within practices that values bottom-up change and continuous improvement. We also hope that we will make General Practice resilient and effectively able to manage current challenges and variation, and lead change so it can deliver even better care to patients in the future’.

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