Folkestone Hythe and Rural primary care network (PCN) has added extra appointments to its service by creating a new service model which uses technology. 

The PCN initially planned to establish an eHub model to manage an increase in online consultations from its seven member practices. However, Folkestone Hythe and Rural recognised that the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) could help them increase service capacity. 

To support the use of the ARRS, it also progressed to a centralised hub model that is underpinned by EMIS Web PCN Hub technology. This allows healthcare teams to triage appointments from member practices to relevant ARRS practitioners. Not only has this improved access for patients but it has also reduced the pressure on GPs.  

Andy Gove, digital transformation manager at Folkestone, Hythe and Rural PCN, said: “Evolving the way they work and moving to this new service model has allowed this team to share resources and expertise across their locality, increasing clinical capacity to enable better patient care. 

“It feels like we’ve genuinely made a change in how services are delivered, and for the better.” 

EMIS Web PCN Hub offers a single sign-on which means members of staff delivering the services only need to sign in once to gain access to everything that they would need.  

Gove explained: “With a combination of the federated online consultation delivery, the code of care record management and the prescription service its meant that those consulting within the system have got all the tools to complete the consultation and minimise the amount of work they send back to the patients’ registered practices.” 

By reducing the need for them to switch between multiple practice systems clinical safety and quality of care are ensured and the chances of an error are minimised. 

The partnership between Folkestone and Hythe Rural PCN and EMIS, who was bought by UnitedHealth Group in June of this year, has also led to the development and pilot of the Consultation Write Back functionality.

The functionality enables consultations to be automatically written back in the native GP record in seconds. This both supports joined-up and shared care records and reduces the admin burden

In addition, layering EMIS’ Apex Analytics solution across the operating model has allowed the PCN to analyse their data in real time. Using live visual dashboards, staff across the PCN can better understand demand, capacity and activity and use this data to make decisions that will improve care. 

Shaun O’Hanlon, chief medical officer, EMIS, said: “The blueprint created by Folkestone Hythe and Rural PCN can be applied across the country to deliver PCN working at scale to help revitalise primary care. 

“Folkestone Hythe and Rural PCN benefits from a strong culture and leadership that is driving forward to produce pragmatic solutions to the healthcare needs of their population.”