Here you can find frequently asked questions, split into four categories. If you have a question that is not answered here, please email email@example.com
Q. Can I access the searches if I’m not in UCLPartners’ patch?
A. Yes. To access the searches, please complete the request form here.
Q. What system/s do I need to be able to run the searches?
A. To run these searches, you will need either EMIS or SystmOne.
Q. I’ve already run searches, is this support relevant to me?
A. The support package encompasses the wider pathway beyond just the search and stratification. Different elements of it can be adapted and adopted by local health systems according to need to reduce variability and ensure a consistent, sustainable approach.
Q. We have Eclipse Live in our practice, how do these searches relate to that?
A. The searches can still be run in your practice.
Q. How does this work with HealtheIntent?
A. We are sharing the search criteria with HealtheIntent to support integration and all practices will be able to run the searchers on individual GP systems as well.
Q. What about patients who do not have Wi-Fi?
A. The pathways include digital tools for patients to access via their computer or mobile phones. Where patients do not have access to Wi-Fi or laptops/ smart phones, we encourage practices to send hard copies of the information contained within the digital tools to patients in the post.
It will be important for local networks and practices to develop systems to ensure that patients who are unable or unwilling to consult digitally to continue to have good access to healthcare. UCLPartners is happy to support local systems in developing these pathways.
Q. How have UCLPartners worked with the Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) on this?
A. UCLPartners’ clinicians designed the search criteria that defines the risk categories: high, moderate and lower risk. The Clinical Effectiveness Group has developed these into tools to be run on EMIS and SystmOne, which search and stratify patients.
Q. We have no audio or video capabilities in our practice. What should we do?
A. Please speak to your local CCG about equipment needs. However, patient contacts could also be made via telephone rather than by video conferencing; all resources can be adapted to meet local contexts and preferences.
Q. I’m not confident using technology to conduct remote consultations, are there any guides out there to support me in this?
A. This training video shows you how to download the searches, import them into EMIS/ SystmOne and run them in your practice. There are also several guides available that explain how to use virtual technology and how to have effective interactions using it.
Q. Do the search tools require someone to have a diagnosis?
A. Yes the search tools have been developed using read/ sno med codes and require a diagnosis.
Q. Are there likely to be any issues in terms of IT compatibility with primary care systems?
A. These tools have been developed to be run on EMIS and SystmOne, which search and stratify patients.
Q. Can we trial this package?
A. The resources published on our website are all free to use. However, we strongly advise that they are used in conjunction with dedicated implementation support.
We are able to provide project management and clinical oversight and engagement to support this. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Is this for practices or Primary Care Networks (PCNs)?
A. We are keen to work at a PCN level to enable economies of scale and to reduce variation across local health systems. Please contact us at email@example.com to find out more.
Q. We already undertake a variation of this approach so is this relevant to me?
A. The tools and resources and assoicated training and implementation offer from UCLPartners has been developed to build capacity in primary care whilst also reducing variation and ensuring sustainability. We are keen to work with anyone that feels this could benefit them.
Q. Is the diabetes work aligned with the recent NHS England report, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 related mortality in England: a cohort study in people with diabetes?
A. The UCLPartners searches will identify patients with the long term condition and stratify them according to their risk of deterioration/exacerbation. This paper focused on risk of death from COVID-19.
Q. How much does this support cost?
A. The tools and resources are free to access. However, to help build local ownership, support the workforce, and adapt resources for local use, we recommend these tools are used in conjunction with dedicated implementation support. We can provide a package of support to enable this. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Q. What if we do not have capacity to undertake this support package?
A. If you are a PCN or borough within the UCLPartners geography, we can provide ongoing implementation support. Please email email@example.com to find out more.
Q. How many hours commitment is needed for HCAs/ pharmacists/ GPs etc?
A. The level of training required will vary by staff type and experience. For a very experienced HCA, a minimum of two hours would be needed to become familiar with the approach and content of the protocols. For less experienced HCAs, around 6-10 hours would be needed to build confidence and knowledge about the conditions and how to interact with patients.
For clinical pharmacists, the training commitment would be around 2-3 hours. This training involves understanding the approach and ensuring confidence with the content they will be talking to patients about. This training will include specialist briefings on the conditions.
For both groups, monthly Communities of Practice are on offer for staff to share learning, collectively problem solve and celebrate success.
Q. Is this approach a good use of clinical time?
A. Each health system which undertakes the search and stratification will identify large numbers of patients. At that stage local clinicians will need to phase how contacts are made with patients, and will probably wish to start with those in the high risk categories. This model develops and utilises the breadth of primary care workforce, thereby freeing up more experienced clinicians to focus on those patients with greater need.
Q. Can other staff types, rather than HCAs, be used to deliver this package?
A. Physician associates, nursing associates, social prescribers and other workforce members, as deemed appropriate, could be used to deliver this package. We can support the appropriate training for these roles.
Q. This will not work in our practice as our team will insist they have to physically see their patients?
A. It is highly likely that post-COVID a much larger proportion of consultations will be virtual in primary and secondary care. This framework will support practices to meet this challenge by identifying interventions that can be delivered remotely, mobilising the wider workforce, supporting a step change in self management and accelerating the use of digital solutions.
Q. How many staff are needed to deliver this. Have you modelled the ratios?
A. We have developed a framework for local systems to adapt depending on local circumstances and preferences. We have not modelled numbers of staff required. The searches will show how many patients are in each high, medium and low risk cohort. PCNs and practices will be able to use these numbers to phase work over time and to model staff numbers
Q. Why have you not included type 1 diabetes?
A. Our initial focus has been on long-term conditions that are generally managed within primary care. Type 1 diabetes has not been included as these patients are usually under the care of the community team.
Q. What about patients with multimorbidities?
A. In developing this framework we have focused on single conditions. As the framework is adapted for local use, PCNs will need to consider how best to meet the needs of patients with multiple conditions. It is likely that most of these patients will need to see clinicians for some of their care. However, adopting the principles of the framework, HCAs and other non-clinical staff will be able to undertake some of their care with support for self management and lifestyle change.
Q. What about the shielded groups? How does this fit with them?
A. Many patients in the shielded groups will have one or more long-term conditions. Their long term condition risk can be assessed in the same way using the search tools and stratification framework. Where remote consultations are appropriate, specialist care, support for self-management and lifestyle change can be delivered in the same way as for non-shielded patients
Q. Is this approach safe for patients/ what safety measures are in place?
A. This is a framework to support primary care to do things differently in the management of patients with long-term conditions. This will help to mitigate the risks of not seeing patients face to face during the pandemic. It will be important for local clinicians to be satisfied that pathways are safe and to ensure that staff have the appropriate competencies to deliver care. Our programme offers support for training and professional development.