James Leeming, CEO North Norfolk Primary Care
Q: How did you hear about RwHealth?
Richard Parker and I have actively tried to find areas where we could bring our organisations into the same space. This tool provided a great opportunity to utilise RW’s knowledge to tackle some of the data challenges we’re facing in primary care.
Q: Why was the Primary Care tool procured?
We wanted something that practices could use to understand their organisation and business in greater detail and enable them to plan and model for the future. We have a lot of data at a practice level, but no way to extrapolate it into useful Primary Care Network (PCN), locality or system-wide data.
It’s easy to track how A&E and 111 are performing, for example, but when you ask how primary care is, the answer you often get is ‘busy.’ We needed more than that.
Primary care has got the biggest clinical workforce, it delivers the most appointments, and it’s got the most change potential, in my opinion, to take us out of this post-pandemic struggle. The potential in primary care, when working alongside and with secondary care is enormous, we know that the dashboard that has been developed will enable practices to understand their data better thus putting them in a better position to understand what could be achieved with secondary care.
Q: What will the Primary Care tool solution enable you to do?
The tool will allow practice staff to drill down into their data and truly understand how they can improve and plan for the future. As this is a bespoke product that has been developed for North Norfolk practices they will own this and it will not be used as another performance management tool.
Q: Before the Primary Care tool, what solution were you using?
The practices used two systems, either EMIS Web or SystmOne. We saw the need for ways of extracting and profiling data in such a way that it becomes interesting – if you just put a spreadsheet in front of most clinicians, you’ll turn them off.
Q: How has the Primary Care tool been received by the team?
One of the practice managers said ‘I could spend two days locked in a room with this and be so happy,’ which is brilliant; we were really looking for something that people would find intuitive and actually want to use, and we’ve got it.
Another practice manager said he could see how the application could really help them in the future. It’s been extremely positive.
Q: What are the outcomes you’re anticipating?
We’re hopeful that this tool will be used across all the practices by staff at every level to make informed delivery, logistical, and business decisions. It will also provide practices with a reporting functionality that will save time, ensure that data is correct and with the predictive modelling it will support decision making across a range of areas.
Q: What key benefits are you anticipating?
Access to information, and accessing that information in a way that’s interesting (ie, not a spreadsheet) that staff can really drill down into.
RW is also working on bringing population growth predictions and QOF data into the platform – once we’ve got that information we can start really developing our workforce and assets to meet demand in real-time and plan for future demand. We’re continuing to create additional primary care roles and with RW’s predictive modelling we’d be able to hire, train and assign staff to where we’ll need them years down the road.
Q: Is there anything else you want to add?
So often you’re pitched or sold products that you almost have to retrofit to your needs. This has been done completely differently; RW went out to practices, did a lot of engagement work to establish their needs, and have built the tool up iteratively into something that suits them perfectly.
This is going to be great for practices, and I think I’m right in saying it’s the first of its kind. We’re unaware of any other primary care dashboard at scale that’s been done nationally, so we’ve done something that is potentially a national first.
‘I think one of the key things the tool will do for practices is to demystify some of the issues faced on a daily basis, arming them to make informed decisions going into the future.’
About North Norfolk Primary Care
North Norfolk Primary Care is a GP alliance for North Norfolk. Owned by the nineteen practices, the goal is to make life in general practice enjoyable again and deliver scale services that would be difficult to deliver from a singular practice or even a PCN.
As demand increases across the healthcare landscape, it is important to identify opportunities for change within Primary Care. Whilst maximising the opportunities on offer, there is an important consideration towards building greater resilience in Primary Care so it remains a viable service for the future.
Chief Executive Officer
Primary Care Tool
North Norfolk Primary Care
Norfolk, United Kingdom