According to new research from the Health Foundation, UK GPs are suffering from the highest levels of stress, which have grown 11% since the pandemic. With mounting pressure on primary care teams - from increased patient demand, staffing shortages, and growing backlogs - GPs desperately need support to boost capacity and reduce soaring rates of staff burnout.
Alleviating pressure on primary care requires a holistic approach; we need to tackle each of the root causes of the challenges being faced by GPs and their teams. This includes boosting staff capacity, reducing time-intensive processes and streamlining referrals.
At Cinapsis, we’re deeply committed to helping provide clinicians with the right tools and resources to address each of these underlying issues. Here are 3 ways we’re working with our partners across the NHS to deliver real, long-term improvements in primary care.
1. Streamlining referrals to free up capacity
ICSs have been set a number of targets by NHS England to reduce waiting lists and address the elective care backlog. To achieve this, primary care clinicians need to be able to reduce the number of patients joining waiting lists unnecessarily, and to triage patients more collaboratively to a wider range of services.
Through the Cinapsis platform, we’re supporting primary care teams to achieve this with access to timely advice and guidance. Clinicians within primary care can directly connect and share key information and diagnostic imagery with their secondary care colleagues. These advice and guidance requests can then be reviewed by the specialist consultant in real-time, enabling an informed, shared referral decision to be made.
As a result, fewer unnecessary referrals are made into secondary care, and repeated primary care appointments are avoided - easing wait lists for those in need of urgent care, while streamlining GP workload to boost capacity.
2. Prioritising interoperability to facilitate collaboration
Interoperable digital tools, which enable information and data to be directly shared between the different systems in use across primary and secondary care, are key to unlocking effective collaboration. Being able to communicate and work together with their secondary care colleagues is absolutely crucial to boosting primary care capacity and easing pressure on individual services.
The Cinapsis platform is fully interoperable, enabling clinicians to share key information and data between primary and secondary care with ease, while maintaining safety and security compliance. This interoperability also reduces the admin burden faced by primary care clinicians by removing the need for repeated manual data entry, easing pressure and freeing up capacity for them to spend with patients.
3. Tailoring digital solutions to the needs of individual practices
Successfully reducing the elective care backlog and easing pressure on primary care requires a multi-faceted, tailored and consistent approach. Beneath the headline wait lists and primary care pressures, each practice is facing its own unique set of challenges. So solutions need to be adequately adapted to meet these nuanced needs.
Technology is not one-size fits all - to have a genuine impact, it must be built alongside its users to address their individual needs and work within their existing processes and workflows. At Cinapsis, we work in close partnership with each of our NHS partners to refine our solution to work for each individual practice and its clinicians. This means talking to GPs and their teams to understand the specific challenges and problems they are facing. Then, we can tailor our product delivery to ensure it is helping tackle these in an effective way.
To support this, onboarding is also key. It would be counterproductive to bring in a solution which is complicated to adopt and adds more burden to clinicians’ workload. That's why we are committed to providing ongoing, comprehensive support when implementing our platform, to ensure each primary care setting can adopt and benefit from the solution from day one.
Primary care urgently needs greater support to meet the continually rising pressures and demand facing their services. By providing the right tools and resources, we can help to tackle the underlying causes - streamlining referrals, boosting collaboration and delivering tailored, consistent support.