More than 500 people avoid A&E thanks to innovative scheme

A&E is not always the best place to be taken if you call 999, and thanks to an improved way of working, more patients are now getting the care they need in their own home.

North West London HSJ award duo

The NHS in North West London has been nominated in not one but TWO categories at this year’s prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards.

The awards are one of the largest celebrations of healthcare excellence in the world, recognising and promoting some of the finest achievements in the NHS.

The first nomination for North West London is for our innovative work to improve patient experience and boost radiographers training and development.

Our work included implementing a North West London-wide Radiographer Career Framework to demonstrate commitment to the on-going development of our radiography workforce. Through increasing the training opportunities available to radiographers, staff have more skills and knowledge to deliver our patients an even better service.

Launched in 2016, the framework was the first radiographer career framework in the UK, designed to enable the radiography workforce to identify their development needs, and provide greater understanding of the career opportunities available in radiography. The framework also helped to address the high vacancy rates in our radiography departments, retain staff and increase career progression opportunities. Following the launch, one North West London hospital recruited 15 new radiographers in one month which is a record.

The second nomination goes to the diabetes transformation team for the work they are doing to improve diabetes care.

142,000 people in North West London are currently living with diabetes and a further 190,000 people are estimated to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The team is working to transform how treatment and care is delivered to support those living with the condition and reduce the number of people developing it.

One of our biggest successes was the event we held to celebrate World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2017 which saw the launch of the brand new ‘Know diabetes NW London’ website. The website provides information, videos, tools and tips to help our residents know diabetes, prevent Type 2 diabetes, manage diabetes, change their health and live life to the full!

The awards take place on 7 June. Stay posted to find out the winners. More information on the awards can be found here

North West London residents saving time with the click of a button

North West London residents using GP online services are benefiting from faster access to health services and are saving time for GPs and their practices.

GP online services allow anyone registered with a GP practice in their local area to book and cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view their GP records, all without having to call the surgery.

  • In North West London, over 25 per cent of our GP registered population are already making use of GP online services
  • over 83,000 appointments were booked online between July and December 2017
  • because patients used their GP Online accounts to book appointments rather than doing so in person or over the phone, GP practices have saved 1460 days which is over four years!

Kwesi Afful, Digital Innovation Lead for the NHS North West London Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “GP online is the first step in supporting our patients to embrace the use of digital apps to help manage their health and transform the way they access health services. The next step is to encourage patients to use their accounts more frequently and then to start introducing other ways to engage with and access GP services.”

Over the next year patients will be able to do even more, with developments already being made to allow patients to see information such as their immunisation records and test results.

Bipin Dittani, a local Harrow GP and resident said: “Many patients find getting an appointment with their GP a frustrating process; having to call at certain times, sitting in queues and sometimes not getting through at all. I’m a big supporter of GP online services and feel so strongly about people having better involvement in their health. Those using the services, myself included, find it a brilliant system. Most of us manage our lives online, so why not manage our health online too? My big mission at the moment is to encourage other local residents to sign up to GP online services. Why not give it a go? It’s really simple to use and makes managing your health care so much easier.”

All GP practices in North West London have signed up to provide services online.

The registration process is simple; patients just need to go into their GP practice with photo identification (i.e. passport of driving licence) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill) to receive a username and password. Once they have been given login details they can access the service via a computer or on their phone by downloading the app. More details on how to register can be found on NHS Choices