Practice Assist shortlisted for prestigious award

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Care UK’s innovative Practice Assist service has been shortlisted in the Improving Care with Technology category at the 2016 HSJ Awards.

Shortlisted for the second year running, the awards judges decided to progress the Practice Assist entry to the next round after learning about how the telephone consultation service supports GP partners to manage demand at their surgeries more effectively.

The annual awards ceremony is one of the most prestigious in the healthcare sector and celebrates the finest achievements in the NHS. Alastair McLellan, editor at HSJ, said: “With the NHS experiencing a tough time as funding fails to keep up with demand, the HSJ Awards are once again the best reminder of the excellence the service is capable of.

“Taken together, the entries to the HSJ Awards represent work which, directly or indirectly, has saved thousands of lives and enhanced many times that number.”

Christian Ellwood, service development manager for Practice Assist, said: “It’s fantastic that Practice Assist has been shortlisted for the HSJ Awards in recognition of its innovative approach to improving patient care and access.”

Dr Barry Sullman, GP partner at Balaam Street Surgery which is supported by Practice Assist, was impressed from an early stage by the service. He added: “Our practice offered, on average, 50 face to face appointments on a daily basis. Patients started queuing from 6am to secure an appointment. Those fit enough to withstand the elements would secure an appointment at the expense of those more ill patients who couldn’t queue.

“Thanks to Practice Assist, we can now offer 70 to 80 telephone consultations, supported by 50 face to face consultations at the surgery. Instead of having surgeries that are bursting, we’re now able to manage demand much more effectively. Every single patient who calls the surgery is called back by a GP at a time that suits them.”

The next stage of the competition will take place throughout October and sees the shortlisted entries presenting to the judging panel, after which the winners will be chosen. The finalists will then attend the HSJ Awards ceremony held at the InterContinental O2, London on Wednesday 23 November.

To find out more about Practice Assist, visit practice-assist.co.uk

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