Choosing from the NHS 10 High Impact Actions

Time to care programme

The publication of the GP Forward View in April 2016, addressed the issue to releasing capacity in General Practice. This raised awareness for the Time to Care programme, to support Primary Care services as they implement change through the 10 High Impact Actions.

As we approach the second year of implementation, new guidance has been put forward by NHS England and this change has created a new tone of delivery for the action plan. Up until recently the inference of the 10 High Impact Actions has been evidence-based guidance for potential changes that could be implemented within General Practice.

As the requirement and appetite for change has increased, the inference has shifted to a more deliberate and purposeful action plan, directing practices to implement at least two of the action work streams.

With this revived focus for implementation, there is a requirement to assess what will create the greatest impact to the Practice staff and patients, with the resource that is already in place.

Productive Workflows is one of the High Impact Actions, aiming to free up time for Practice employees. By introducing new approaches to Practice processes, with the objective of reducing wasted time, queues and making straightforward follow-ups less reliant on GP consultations.

Document management and the flow of clinical correspondence through General Practice will differ from place to place. However, what remains consistent is the role of the GP. With the responsibility for the content sitting on their shoulders, there is a mix of opinion on whether they need to see all or a proportion of patient letters that come through the door.

The impact of this is long hours, a delay in the GP accessing current patient information and lack of consistency with coding onto the clinical system. However, by reviewing and implementing a training programme which supports Practice Administrators to manage and process the letters onto the clinical system, a positive change would be demonstrated.

No change in practice should be considered without ensuring that there is robust governance in place, which brings confidence and unity across the practice team. The redirection of clinical correspondence has a positive impact on time efficiencies and also helps to create an empowered workforce. A workforce that feels invested in and more informed to deliver a more effectual care service for patients, creating positive improvements to the capacity in general practice.

All of the High Impact Actions are driving positive change to deliver more pro-active care but also enable patients to utilise the network of primary care services. Change is not easy to initiate or follow through and see to completion, it takes a cohesive approach from all members of the Practice team. So identifying a High Impact Action that will create the biggest impact in your Practice is vital, yet tricky when there is such a broad scope.

Creating a more effective flow for correspondence that travels through the GP Practice, which reduces hand-offs, speeds up processing and has robust governance, would add value to all Practice stakeholders and would have links to some of the other High Impact Actions. So think about what will develop the skills of the team, positively affect patient experience or release time for the GP…? You may find Workflow holds one of your answers.