Cowgill Medical Practice & Oberoi Consulting Win Innovation Award to Improve Quality of Health Care

Innovating for Improvement

A team from West Yorkshire has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement.

The third round of the Innovating for Improvement programme is supporting twenty health care projects in the UK with the aim of improving health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.

The initiative from Cowgill Medical Practice & Oberoi Consulting aims to address current delays, inequalities and inconsistency in early diagnosis of patients presenting with signs and symptoms of possible malignancy.

In June 2015 NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommended that patients presenting to general practitioners with symptoms and signs of possible malignancy, are referred promptly for appropriate investigation. The guideline also noted current patient pathway inconsistency.

This innovative project will seek to assess the implementation and effectiveness of electronic triaging of a patient triggered by the completing of an electronic form prior to seeking a GP appointment. The e-questionnaire will be underpinned by an algorithm drawn from the NICE 2015 guideline - NG12.

The outcome would be to enable the patient to be referred directly for appropriate investigation or to specialist clinic, thus removing any initial delay in securing a GP appointment or inequality in the variation in behaviour of clinicians and clinical pathways. Importantly, patient choice will be incorporated within the e-pro-former.

Initially the innovation will request patients attending Cowgill Practice and any of its partner surgeries, to be seen in the normal manner by the GP and then log into the secure patient portal. Once fully tested for safety, security and effectiveness, stage two will see the development and implementation of a system in which a patient completes a simple electric pro-former without needing to see their GP.

The team behind the project believe this will result in beneficial outcomes for both patients and healthcare providers. Over the course of the programme the team will develop its innovative idea and approach, put it into practice and gather evidence about how the innovation improves the quality of health care.

The team will be led by Dr Pam Rawal, GP Partner at Cowgill Medical Practice and GP with Special Interest in Gastroenterology.

Dr Rawal commented:

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to change how we can offer Health Care services that will help us beat cancer by securing earlier diagnosis"

Kavita Oberoi OBE, from Oberoi Consulting, will be developing the IT behind the innovation commented:

"We are excited to be able to support innovation that will help secure early diagnosis of cancer and subsequently, access to appropriate treatment. The whole system will be built on clinical data and patient experience, ensuring best outcomes for patients and healthcare services."

Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation said:

"We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline across all sectors of health and care services, and I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.

"Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of healthcare, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK."

The programme will run for fifteen months and each project will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project.

About the Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.

Our aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. We learn what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the health care system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, we shine a light on how to make successful change happen.

We make links between the knowledge we gain from working with those delivering health and health care and our research and analysis. Our aspiration is to create a virtuous circle, using what we know works on the ground to inform effective policymaking and vice versa.

We believe good health and health care are key to a flourishing society. Through sharing what we learn, collaborating with others and building people’s skills and knowledge, we aim to make a difference and contribute to a healthier population.

Read more about "Innovating for Improvement" programme on the The Health Foundation website.