When Queens Medical Centre, Barnstaple, was faced with an urgent lack of GPs and issues with securing local cover (amid ever-increasing patient demand of 19% year-on-year), a recommendation led them to call on Push Doctor. Within 24 hours the practice was up and running, with our systems integrated with theirs, practice staff trained on who to signpost towards virtual appointments, and all of our platform GPs available to see their patients. Initially, we were there to offer capacity as and when it was needed, however, demand for the service has continued to grow as patients have become more receptive to the benefits of seeing a doctor online. We now work together on a much broader scope, with Queens Medical Centre offering its patients a digital-first model.
As the biggest PCN in Devon, covering 66,500 patients, Waterside has always been forward-thinking when it comes to delivering patient care. Being a network that doesn't shy away from new ideas, it was imperative for Waterside to work with a provider that has a robust clinical governance structure, alongside a “Good” CQC rating, which led them to choose Push Doctor as their digital services partner. After an initial partnership that was based on out-of-hours support, the practices within Waterside PCN began introducing our digital Locum GP services within core hours, with an open policy that allows patients to book directly with Push Doctor. In 2020, the PCN ran a pilot for a new Minor Ailments Service, aimed to take pressure off GPs by referring patients directly to Community Pharmacists. The pilot was a success, and Waterside approached Push Doctor for support in delivering this same service as a digital option for patients. We worked in collaboration to bring the idea to fruition, and Waterside PCN became one of our first practices to offer the digital Minor Ailments Service we deliver today.
When the pandemic hit, the borough of Hounslow was severely impacted, suffering the second highest rates of Covid-19 in London and the highest economic impact in the country. Unemployment rates soared to 70%, leading to higher levels of anxiety and depression, reduced quality in housing and living conditions, and, as a result, more problems with health.Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare Trust (HRCH) needed a solution that would proactively protect its 300,000+ patients during a vulnerable time. The Trust was drawn to Push Doctor as a result of our patient accessibility, and the simplicity of our technology. We now support 44 practices across the borough, offering healthcare at the touch of a button for all patients, with additional language settings to suit the diverse population of Hounslow. To ensure that our service is truly accessible for all, we’ve created the first ever digital health pods; soundproof cubicles stationed within community locations, allowing patients to book a digital appointment even if they don’t have access to a digital device themselves. It isn’t just patients that have felt the impact of this partnership. Practice staff, including GPs, now have more breathing space to be able to do the work they need to do, and have reported improved wellbeing with the introduction of the additional capacity.
As with many practices, Heaton Moor Medical Group was faced with an unprecedented situation during the Covid-19 pandemic, and had to think innovatively to continue providing its 45,000 patients with healthcare that was both accessible and safe. As demand on primary care services started to surge, Heaton Moor turned to Push Doctor in order to have the flexibility to adapt to increasing patient requests and a diminishing workforce. This partnership provided the practice with resilience to continue getting patients to the care they needed, often with same-day appointments, while also improving time and cost efficiencies in comparison to hiring traditional locum GPs. This is now a long-term solution for Heaton Moor. Not only has the practice management team significantly reduced the time spent managing demand, but in creating greater, more flexible capacity, Heaton Moor has been able to bridge the primary care workforce gap.
Recruitment within the NHS can be a burden, with three months being the standard time to hire. Add to this a global pandemic and the largest vaccine rollout to-date, and it’s easy to understand how difficult it can be to hire through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). This was the situation at Warrington Innovation Network (WIN), which was struggling to recruit ARRS clinicians before the deadline for the allocated budget. WIN called on Push Doctor to help overcome these challenges and meet NHS requirements for Clinical Pharmacists and First Contact Physiotherapists, providing 2.6 WTE and 1.6 WTE respectively. Shortly after partnering, WIN’s 54,000 patients had access to same-day appointments with minimal wait times. The practice has saved vital clinical time by sending patients to the appropriate clinician at the right time, without the need to be referred by a GP, and no longer needs to “hunt” for rooms for additional clinicians. The quick and simple onboarding process also meant WIN could offer these services in minimal time, which simply wouldn’t have been possible through traditional methods.