All posts by Emma Goulden

Thank you John!

At our Board meeting yesterday, we officially said goodbye and a huge thank you to our outgoing Chair John Heather, who has been a fantastic advocate for One Care over the last few years. Thankfully, we will keep John’s wealth of experience and knowledge as he will remain as a member of our Board representing the Weston locality.

We thanked him with a big cake and card signed by all the other members of the Board – see the photos on Twitter.

As announced earlier in February, Simon Bradley has been elected as our new Independent Chair.

Reducing GP paperwork through workflow optimisation training

GP paperwork has been on the rise for a number of years, which was recognised as one of the key issues for general practice in the GP Forward View. As a result of this, all practices were offered funding to attend training to help with their document management processes. In July 2017, we began working with EPI, a local training provider, to offer workflow optimisation training sessions to our practices. The project has recently come to an end, so we have been working on an evaluation of how successful it has been.  The aims of this project were to:

  • Provide consistent and high-quality Workflow Optimisation training to BNSSG practices
  • Increase efficiency in practice and release clinical capacity
  • Reduce the administrative burden on clinical staff
  • Upskill administrative practice staff

The training was provided to 167 members of practice staff from 58 practices (around 70% of all One Care practices). We measured the success of these sessions by giving attendees a feedback form. It was very well-received and rated highly by practices:

Well led and run, very experienced GP knowledge in implementing and working with the system”.

99.3% of attendees said they would recommend the seminar to colleagues and 81.4% said the training was excellent (18.6% said good).  In 2018, we worked with Hanham Health to create a case study about their experience of the training and experience of implementing their learnings in practice.

We did encounter some challenges in delivering this training programme. Often practices found it difficult to spare appropriate staff members to attend. Also, it was difficult to measure how effectively the training has been implemented in practices without doing more follow up, which means in many cases we are not sure to what degree it has increased efficiency and released clinical capacity. We will be looking to carry out some follow up work over the coming months.

If you’re keen to find out more, or read the full evaluation, get in touch.


Our impact report 2018

Our vision is to enable general practice to survive and thrive. So, we wanted to find a way to demonstrate the positive impact of our work on day-to-day practice activities.

That’s why we’ve published our impact report for 2018 as a timeline of a ‘day in the life’ of a GP practice in BNSSG. It provides a snapshot of some of the ways practices can use the tools and services we provide. It also includes some quotes and feedback we’ve received.

We hope you find it a useful and interesting way of looking at what we do and how it can support our member practices.

Improving access to general practice

We’ve been working with some of our practices to provide ‘improved access to general practice‘ since 2016, with more practices getting involved over that time. In October, practices provided the most hours since the service began – so more patients than ever in this area were able to access their practice at evenings or weekends. This is a relatively unique way of providing this service, as elsewhere in the country, appointments often take place at one or two locations called ‘hubs’.

Improved access appointments take place before 8.00am and after 6.30pm on weekdays, and anytime on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Practices are working together in groups (‘localities’) to deliver these additional early morning, evening or weekend appointments. We’ve had some very positive feedback from practices about how this positively impacts both them and their patients:

“Our patients actually like the facility to have a telephone discussion over the weekend – preferably Sunday – and now actually ask for a specific call. It means they don’t have to come in and they are always there to speak to, so our DNA rate is reduced.”

“We have found being able to increase the hours of opening very helpful to our patients. We can now offer more Practice Nurse appointments on Saturday mornings which in turn means patients do not have to go to other providers for dressings etc over the weekend.”

We also work in partnership with other organisations to provide some of these appointments, one of which is the MSK assessment service with PhysioNet. In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, all improved access services can be accessed by contacting your registered GP practice.

The national NHS England communications campaign to remind patients that they can access their GP during evenings and weekends over the famously busy winter period starts today – so look out for this in both traditional (newspapers, billboards) and social media.



Jake talks One Care on the General Practice Podcast

Ockham Healthcare is a thinktank and consultancy. They identify, promote and support best practice and new ways of working in General Practice. Their website contains lots of useful blog posts and they publish a weekly General Practice Podcast.

This week’s feature someone you should recognise – our very own Dr Jake Lee. Jake talks about the One Care journey – what we do and how we do it.

Listen below!

Episode 138: Jake Lee – One Care: a large, successful federation in the south west

Talking about the future

On 8 November 2018, our annual shareholders’ event took place at Bristol Pavilion. It was a great afternoon, attended by more than 80 members of staff from our practices, full of interesting conversations and hopeful discussion about the future.

We started the afternoon with lunch and an opportunity to browse our marketplace stalls, which showcased six current One Care projects:

  • GPTeamNet
  • Telephony
  • General practice intelligence reports
  • Patient information video library
  • General practice resilience and transformation – one of the key priority areas for Healthier Together (our Sustainability and Transformation Partnership)
  • EMIS optimisation

Ruth Taylor, our Chief Executive, welcomed everyone then handed over to Jonathan Peach, who energised the room with his presentation about the art of brilliance. Our guest speaker Professor Becky Malby and her colleague Nick Downham were up next. Their presentation on using primary care data to support systems change sparked lots of lively debate.

They were followed by Dr Tom Smith, a GP from Fallodon Way Medical Centre in North Bristol who delivered a hilarious presentation about One Care’s work to date. After the break, Ruth and Dr Jake Lee talked through our plans to support practices into the future, before offering attendees the opportunity to ask questions. We finished the afternoon with table discussions about priorities for the future.

It was a brilliant event. We will be visiting all our practices in the next few months to continue discussions about how we make sure we continue to meet their needs as effectively as possible.

One Care selected to be part of continuity of care programme

One Care has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of its new programme exploring how to increase continuity of care in general practice.

The ‘Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice’ programme is supporting five large-scale GP practices and federations with grants of up to £250,000 to carry out targeted improvement work to increase continuity in their practices to help bring benefits to both staff and patients. Each project will run for up to two years. The programme has been developed with the advice and support of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Our project is called “how well do I know and trust my doctor?” Modern GP practices are focused on extending access to care beyond traditional core hours and finding innovative ways of working at scale. However, this can impact on continuity of care and result in fewer people being able to see a specific GP.

Our project intends to redress this balance across GP practices in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the aim of reaching a practice population of 400,000 patients. The project will focus on improving continuity by increasing the number of patients that see the same health professional or small team over a period of time.

The project team will work with interested practices to develop a bespoke toolkit (including a digital toolset, delivery model, training programmes and patient materials) that offers two approaches to delivering more effective relational continuity of care.

One Care will work closely with patients and practices to establish their needs and identify vulnerable groups that will benefit the most from improved continuity of care.

As well as improving personalised care and patient satisfaction across all appointment types (face-to-face, telephone and home visits), better continuity of care is expected to lead to improved staff confidence, efficiency and job satisfaction through improved engagement with patients.

Read more about our project and the others selected to be part of this programme on the Health Foundation’s website.

This project is part of the Health Foundation’s ‘Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice’ programme. The Health Foundation is an independent charity
committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.

Remember, remember, the 8th of November

Our annual shareholders’ meeting is taking place next Thursday 8 November 2018. We can’t wait  – we always love the opportunity to have all our member practices in one room. We’ve got a packed agenda, and will be briefly celebrating our successes over the last year, before using most of the afternoon to look to the future.

For the first time ever, we’ll have a guest speaker: Professor Becky Malby from London South Bank University. Becky is an expert in health innovation, change and primary care networks. Take a look at her blog here.

We’ll also be offering our practices the opportunity to explore our interactive marketplace. There will be a number of stands where attendees will be able to find out more about key One Care projects: general practice intelligence reports, telephony, patient information video library, general practice resilience and transformation, GPTeamNet and EMIS optimisation.

Watch this space for an update following the event.

GP phone home

Since 2016, we have been working with Bistech, our delivery partner, to implement a new telephony solution across GP practices in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). There are now 59 practice sites in BNSSG live with this system (with 6 more set to launch soon), which translates to an amazing 1910 licensed Bistech handsets now in practices across the area. Each year, these practices receive 3.9 million phone calls and make 1.9 million outgoing calls – which makes a total of 5.8 million calls handled on an annual basis.

The opportunity for practices to access our funded telephony solution will close in early 2019. By this time, we hope that an additional 21 sites will also have signed up, making a total of 80. The Bistech platform offers a number of important benefits to practices. The telephony system is scalable and resilient, which allows practices to share calls across different sites and can facilitate new models of care. This can also improve operational efficiency and workload management. Not only do practices access funding to support capital costs, but they also receive new, fit for purpose technology and usually save money on outbound calls. The large number of users across BNSSG also means that One Care and Bistech can offer support and development to those using this system (such as reports, call analysis, staff utilisation).

We have had some great feedback from the practices who have had the system for a while, with practices praising the value for money, improved functionality and support during implementation.

For these practices who have already migrated to Bistech, we are now be focusing on supporting them to make the best use of it, through a telephony optimisation review. This will include sharing best practice, looking at how the system could support different ways of working and developing practice-focused reporting and analytics. We’ve also produced a number of training guides for practices.

We’re really excited and proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, and look forward to continuing to work with practices over the coming months and years to ensure we use this future-proof technology to support resilience and transformation in general practice.

25 practices now using videos to support self-care

25 practices across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) have now signed up to have a patient information video library on their practice website. We’re working with Health and Care videos to provide practices with a 6-month free trial of 340 educational videos for their patients. Over this time, we’ll be looking to assess how and when these videos are most effective in general practice. Videos available include a general set of asthma videos that can be shared with patients before an appointment and a series of pre-diabetes videos that have been sent to some patients in place of an appointment with a nurse.

One practice in Bristol already has access to their own library and their feedback is an indication of the impact this tool can have in practice: “Patients have said they have found it useful to remind themselves… It saves clinicians time as they don’t have to explain over and over again.”

You can read more about the potential benefits that access to these videos can offer practices and patients on the Health and Care videos website.

We are providing participating practices with a number of business cards that they can hand out to patients to signpost them towards the library on their websites, as well a suite of other promotional materials. Practices can also choose to text links to specific videos to their patients – which links nicely with our texting results toolkit that we recently launched. We look forward to understanding more about how this tool can support general practice in BNSSG.