• Run by the South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative, a federation of 25 GP practices.
  • Aiming to help patients to see their preferred GP in order to improve continuity of care and clinical outcomes, reduce hospital use, and increase patient and staff satisfaction.
  • Will involve identifying, testing and implementing practical and digital innovations (such as micro-teams, online consulting methods, and consistent coding and record keeping) across multiple GP practices.
  • Will run from January 2019 to December 2020.

Relationships between patients and clinicians build over time, and high-quality GP care uses deep contextual knowledge of patients, their families and social situations. However, the number of patients able to see or speak to their clinician of choice is falling.

This project from the South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative aims to address this issue by focusing on improving continuity of care through helping patients to see their preferred GP.

The first aspect of the project will involve learning from existing measures known to improve continuity of care to identify simple changes that can be relatively easily implemented across practices. Digital record keeping will also be made more consistent through agreeing principles for clinical coding and template development, which will allow staff and patients to move between practices and deliver and receive more specialised care.

Secondly, the project team will work intensively with a small number of practices for one year to test ideas and approaches to improve continuity. The following year, more practices will be supported to introduce the most successful innovations.

These innovations could include grouping GPs into micro-teams that look after a defined list of patients, adding non-medical members to micro-teams (for example administrative support and health care assistants) and testing approaches to improve patient flow (such as digital innovations to support online and video consulting).

If successful, the project will result in a significant increase in the number of people seeing their ‘usual’ GP, as well as reduced hospital use, and improved patient and staff satisfaction.

Contact details

For more information, please email Hugh Reeve, GP Partner and Federation Director at South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative.

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