Greater Manchester

COVID-19: Digital Primary Care

Closed project

Please note – this is no longer an active Health Innovation Manchester project

Following on from the COVID-19 digital primary care project to support primary care to adopt digital tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Innovation Manchester is now working with primary care to optimising the use of digital tools to improve patient access and manage capacity. To find out more about the current work in primary care visit the Greater Manchester Digital First Primary Care project page.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted an urgent need for more digital solutions to allow patients to still access care and support from general practice.

Health Innovation Manchester worked with our Greater Manchester primary care partners, GM Shared Services, the North West regional digital team and NHSX to support GP practices to implement a digital-first service and provide patients with digital access, triage and consultation.

A digital primary care support package using the skills, expertise and resources from Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Health Innovation Manchester and GM Shared Services has been created to support rapid deployment of new solutions and transformational changes taking place.

Patients across Greater Manchester have benefitted benefit from being able to see their GP through virtual appointments and online consultations with GP practices across the city-region rolling out video consultations and no longer relying on face-to-face appointments to care for their patients. Many practices have also rolled out digital technology to enable online triage. This allows patients to request help from their GP practice by completing a short form online, which is then assessed by a practice clinician to offer the right care, including a telephone or virtual appointment, or referral to other services or self-care.

Health Innovation Manchester worked on behalf of the COVID-19 Digital Coordination Group and the Digital Primary Care Board to support localities to optimise digital primary care. This aimed to ensure that the city-region is supported to progress from deploying the new technology to ensuring it is fully embedded and can improve outcomes for patients.

To support this, a digital primary care outcomes framework was developed including a set of standards and outcomes which all practices should work towards, regardless of what digital products they have implemented. The digital primary care outcomes framework was developed through a series of design workshops comprising representatives from across Greater Manchester including public members, GPs, practice managers, health and care managers and technical experts.

It will support practices to:

  • Measure clinical and patient outcomes
  • Set KPIs and standards
  • Monitor activity and performance
  • Benchmark different approaches
  •  Share learning and address issues

Case Studies: How are primary care implementing digital tools in Greater Manchester

Digital video doctor appointment

Improving access for patients

Tower Family Healthcare

Close up of hands using a tablet computer

Supporting the homeless population during digital innovation

Dr Chris Nortcliff, Salford

Encouraging patient empowerment through digital

Dr Paul Jackson, Trafford

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