Supporting General Practice through the COVID-19 crisis
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, general practice has been forced to change its daily routines and adjust to a new reality, with surgeries moving fast to online triage and consultations in a very short space of time. Leaders have had to make plans to ensure their staff are ready to play their part in the
COVID-19 response. GPs everywhere are busy working out what model suits them best to effectively treat patients
Hot and cold hubs
Telephone and video consultations have been adopted rapidly, however some GPs have said they were finding it difficult to deal with patients with COVID-19 symptoms while having other medical symptoms. The advice from NHS England has been that establishing hot sites or ‘hubs’ are the best option, where it may be clinically necessary to see those most at risk patients, face to face.
GP-led hot hubs are now being set up around the country providing a place to see patients with coronavirus symptoms face-to-face. Hot hubs will be used exclusively by coronavirus patients who, doctors have decided, need further attention following an initial telephone conversation. GPs will then be able to carry out further tests, including oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, pulse and temperature, to work out which patients need to be taken to hospital for ventilation and which should remain at home. Cold hubs will be used for all patients with normal ailments who are free of the virus and have not been in contact with any COVID-19 sufferers.
How we can help
Over the last few weeks we have been listening to and busy working with CCGs and PCNs to help them build the right system, as they set up these new hubs to help tackle the spread of the virus. Whilst we have always done hub work with GP Federations, we have now been able to adapt the system to meet the special demands of the coronavirus hubs. This is a new challenge but an interesting one as we are seeing CCGs taking a wider responsibility on behalf of the primary care networks. We have been able to get PCNs up and running within a day with our system, which helps you:
- Configure and monitor staff skills to ensure compliance
The rules and requirements of healthcare staff working in hot and cold hubs can all be set in the system, from health clearances, who is eligible to work where and skill sets
- Communicate to your growing workforce easily
The system allows you to send alerts and notifications easily to staff keeping them up to date of the constant changes to working practices and ensure coverage
- Report and gather data on your hubs, including costs, session types, hours of appointments offered etc.
Our goal has always been to create a system that works for frontline primary care staff, and we have always prided ourselves on helping to deliver the right person with the right skill set every time in any given situation. During this current crisis our focus is also very much on helping you tailor services for patients and staff safely whilst reducing the risk of infection.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help with your staffing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, please get in touch.