Healthcare organisations have gone through many changes. I remember back to the day of health authorities and primary care trusts, while clinical commissioning care groups (CCGs) are now in place with groups of GP surgeries joining together beneath this level to form federations.
The latest health group formation is the primary care network.
According to NHS England, primary care networks link community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services together to provide more integrated health and social care.
NHS England’s Refreshing NHS Plans for 2018-19 set out the ambition for CCGs to actively encourage every practice to be part of a local primary care network serving communities of 30,000 to 50,000 patients by the end of this month.
The idea is that the groups will still be small enough to provide personal care but large enough to offer economies of scale through better collaboration. Surgeries that are part of primary care networks will also enjoy significant additional funding attached to the GP contract.
This funding mainly comes in the form of large directed enhanced services (DES) payments, which is an extension of the core GP contract and must be offered to all surgeries, including money to support the operation of a network. These funds are paid into a single primary care network bank account.
As a reseller, this is where we are seeing a change in the way surgeries are purchasing their telephony services. As you would expect, some are buying them as a group to support the operation of a network as requested.
Others are forming or joining primary care networks to gain extra finding but are still purchasing their telephone systems on a standalone basis.
Almost all our GP surgery customers use our cloud-hosted telephony solution as it links multiple sites together seamlessly and can be expanded with ease. Both these elements are important when primary care network member surgeries have different contract end dates to contend with. We can add surgeries to a group as and when their existing contract comes to an end.
- The advantages of cloud-hosted telephony include:
- Integration with patient management systems, such as EMIS, SystmOne and Vision
- Free calls to UK landlines and mobiles
- Enhanced call capacity
- Simple transfer & divert of calls between sites
- Centralised management from any location
- Useful call statistics
- Built-in business continuity
- Continual software upgrades
These benefits also make our solution an attractive prospect for single site surgeries, especially as there is no cost for deployment.
The primary care landscape is ever evolving, and GP surgeries need a responsive suppler and a flexible solution that will keep step with these changes and to help keep the competition from app-based medical services at bay.
Whatever your GP surgery’s make up or group membership status, cloud-hosted telephony is a proven success, easing the daily tasks of staff and improving the access afforded to your patients.
Contact me if you want to find out more about our general practice cloud-hosted telephone system for your surgery or group of surgeries.