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Digital first in primary care

5th December 2019

Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care system is working with practices across Lancashire and South Cumbria to transform the way patients access health services and information through technology.

More than one million people – almost two-thirds of Lancashire and South Cumbria’s 1.7 million population - now have access to online consultation with their practice through the myGP app, enabling them to book appointments, request repeat prescriptions and view medical records online. Online consultation can also include online assessments (triage) so that people can be signposted to the health professional or service that can best meet their needs.

Increasing numbers of practices are also starting to offer video consultations for routine patient appointments, enabling people to see and speak to a doctor without needing to travel to the surgery.

It’s all in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out a vision to offer digital first primary care to everyone in England within the next ten years. In Lancashire and South Cumbria, the ambition is for technology to be used to improve patient access to primary care services and empower patients to manage their own health and wellbeing better.

This work includes:

  • Rolling out the myGP app to 100% of practices by April 2020. See the impact this is having in Brownhill Surgery's story, Park Hill Surgery's story and Stoneleigh Surgery's story.
  • Training for practices to use online consultation tools
  • Increasing the number of general practice appointments available online to 35%
  • Supporting practices to use new video consultations for routine patient appointments, clinical to care home consultations and to connect clinicians working on different sites. Dr Ford explains the benefits of using video consulations.  Three software solutions are currently being piloted in different areas across Lancashire and South Cumbria and one will be selected to roll out from April 2020.
  • Enhancing practice staff digital skills through schemes such as the digital champions initiative, which has already supported more than 50 practice staff in activities including setting up social media channels to share health promotion messages, promote apps and hold video consultations with patients.
  • Plans to digitise paper records and through this, free up space that is currently used to store records, which could be used for new video consultation equipment
  • Ongoing engagement with patients to develop services
  • Encouraging greater use of apps, using a list of preferred apps drawn up by Lancashire and South Cumbria clinicians

For more information, visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/digitalfuture