West Yorkshire-based GP federation, Wakefield Health & Wellbeing (WWHW) has announced success claiming first place in The General Practice Forward View Innovations - Developing the Practice’ category, at 'The General Practice Awards'.
The locally-developed GP scheme was originally created as a pilot project to help enhance patient care and transform access to vital health and care services across the Wakefield area. It has since proven so beneficial that it has now been adopted by GPs across the country.
Described as a ‘care navigation and active signposting system’, WWHW developed accredited care navigation training for CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups), GP federations & GP practices, helping to ensure that every patient’s first point of contact with their local surgery is positive, helpful, and provides them with the care or information that they require fast.
With NHS resources stretched, this is an active step to reduce patient frustration while ensuring that no time is wasted by the needless passing of patients from pillar to post. For doctors in particular, it reduces some of the demand on their time too which means they can focus on caring for patients with the most complex health needs in their practice.
And it’s not just GPs and their patients who are benefitting from the WWHW system, but physiotherapists, pharmacists and other professionals in the community. All of this means that in gaining access to the care that they need more quickly, patients are able to recover more quickly, which is good for the individuals, good for reducing the pressure on the NHS, and good for the general economy.
Now adopted by more than 20 CCGs throughout the country, the WWHW system is currently benefitting more than 10% of the entire patient population in England – that’s more than 5.3 million people. Not bad for a little local initiative!
Celebrating the award, WWHW care navigation programme manager, David Cowan, comments: “It is a privilege to be able to help share our learning in this area and contribute towards a programme that can improve both patients and staff experience of primary care. This award and the recognition we’ve received reminds us just how valuable our contribution is to those working on the NHS frontline.”
Russell Houghton, WWHW business intelligence lead, added: “It’s hugely satisfying to know that we’ve helped implement this approach in over 10% of the English patient population already, who are now benefiting from seeing the right professionals or services, in the right place, at the right time.”
Kate Brentley, WWHW managing director, concluded: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the award for General Practice Forward View Innovations – Developing the Practice. The team have worked so hard to deliver high quality, proactive consultancy and training to really make a difference to primary care teams.”
Since its inception, WWHW has become the go-to resource for care navigation. The team are frequently requested to attend to speak at NHS England and Health Education England events. The General Practice Awards nomination and successive win, cements the team’s role as national experts in the care navigation field.
The General Practice Awards is a national awards ceremony celebrating the projects and initiatives taking place across the UK in the field of general practice, and is considered the industry’s highest accolade.