UK Doctors Call for Flexible Working through the Cloud

One in five UK doctors feel their current work life balance is poor, and almost half (49%) believe current demands are unsustainable, according to new research from cloud communications provider Sesui.

The research – released today by Sesui, a Queen’s Award winner for Enterprise in Innovation – is detailed in a special report exploring how remote working through the cloud could help tackle the chronic GP shortage.

Based on research with 100+ UK doctors, and in-depth interviews with thought leaders across the NHS, the paper discusses how to make work, work for GPs in the face of rising workloads and mounting reforms for a 24/7 NHS. It outlines the transformative role of cloud communications: in enabling GPs and clinicians to work remotely, and in joining-up primary care providers to deliver integrated care.

The following key themes emerged and are detailed within the paper:

· Addressing work life balance for doctors: 83% of doctors are calling for more to be done to improve their work life balance, with 45% saying remote working is the answer.
· Longer appointments, more appointments and shorter waits: Remote working can deliver a WIN / WIN for patients, as 43% of doctors believe remote working would allow them to spend longer with their patients while also reducing waiting times. One London practice hopes to offer an additional 5,000 patient appointments annually as a result of each of its GPs working from home for just two additional hours a week.
· Personalising care: 48% of doctors say remotely taking patient calls would aid more personalised patient care. In integrated urgent care, providers are using the cloud to join up as part of a virtual clinical hub to deliver “known patients” (coming through on the 111 line) directly to a clinician.
· Prevention before escalation: GP-led organisations and Federations are offering out-of-hours triage through the cloud as a way to head-off patient issues before they escalate to emergency services and A&E.
· The killer commute: Clinicians don’t want to support out-of-hours if they have to travel long distances to a call centre on the back of a long “in-hours” week. However, after starting a remote working trial, one Trust saw an increase of GPs willing to provide out-of-hours support.
· Moving care closer to home: With an ageing population, GPs expect to face more home visits and increasingly complex cases. New app based software Doc Abode® will help by matching GP capacity with patient demand allowing out-of-hours and urgent care providers to widen their local clinical workforce and address geographical black-spots.

The report features interviews with:

· Dr Sam Shah, Director of Digital Development at NHS England
· Dr Taz Aldawoud, Bradford GP and creator of Doc Abode
· Mr Lee Bryant, Managing Director of Sesui
· Mr Mark Cockerton, Advisor on urgent healthcare and GP out-of-hours services
· Mr Prashanti Joshi, Operations Manager, K&W Healthcare
· Mr Suresh Vaghela, Group Practice Manager at Jai Medical Centre

Speaking about the report, Mr Lee Bryant, MD for Sesui said: “The NHS is in a time of transition and GPs are the frontline of that change. Delivery of integrated urgent care is no longer rhetoric… it’s reality. But in that reality there’s a huge mismatch between what GPs are being asked to do and those available to do it. Something’s got to give.”

“For 14 years we’ve been working with GPs and primary care providers to make vital patient connections by putting their communications system in the cloud. GPs are then empowered to achieve a healthy equilibrium – joined up patient centric care that relieves some of the burden on busy A&E departments, delivered in a way that’s safe, sustainable and that preserves their vital role for generations to come,” Mr Bryant said.

To speak with any of the contributors, receive a copy of the report or use any of the imagery, please contact Leisa Stewart-Sharpe on 07910252380.

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