Holding Hands

Going the Extra Mile

Linda

Going the Extra Mile

Holding Hands

Background and Challenge

Library House Surgery, based in Chorley, is a well-established practice serving a patient population of over 16,500. Like all practices, a key challenge is interacting with and identifying individuals with the same needs,i.e. those eligible for a flu vaccine, or those who act as carer, previously this was a time-consuming, manual process.

The Surgery was keen to find an effective way of contacting and identifying groups of patients, especially registered patients acting as carers.

It understands that often carers physical and mental health is put second to the person or people that they care for, and they wanted to reach out to them to inform them of new services available to them at the surgery and in the area.

“A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.” Carers Trust

Current estimates calculate that 6.5 million people in the UK are acting as carers. Without the right support the personal costs of caring can be high and include financial strain, effected health and wellbeing, isolation and impacted career and learning development. Simon Elcock, IT lead at the surgery was committed to not only identifying this group but to providing additional support.

Response

Commissioners at NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG had already commissioned iPLATO’s SMS service and patient online services app myGP, and through this the surgery was able to use its ‘campaign’ SMS function to contact multiple patients.

This simple step-by-step process enables SMS to be sent to multiple patients which Read Code directly into the practice clinical system. The surgery was able to message its patients to ask if they were currently a carer, and their responses coded to their records in the clinical system.

Talking about the campaign:

“The iPLATO on-boarding process was really user friendly. We found that by using the iPLATO solution we could run on-going SMS marketing campaigns, in particular we wanted to identify the practice’s patient carers and by using the iPLATO system, the campaign took less than 15 minutes to set-up meaning we can easily run specific campaigns multiple times.” Simon Elcock, IT and Operations Manager

Outcomes

Library House Surgery is delighted with the results of the identification of carers campaign.

  • At the start of the campaign, the practice had 234 patients listed as carers.
  • Responses to the first SMS campaign resulted in an increase of patients listed as carers.
  • Following the second SMS campaign, the current number of identified carers again increased and is now at 369.

This intelligence allows Library House Surgery to offer their carer support services to a larger number of patients at the practice. Each carer identified has now been invited to an annual review, as well as being offered a range of services.

“Carers often forget about themselves and their own health. In engaging with this group, we are able to offer a bespoke service that benefits this silent army.” Simon Elcock, IT and Operations Manager, Library House Surgery

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