What makes an award winning practice team?

Dr Suresh Tibrewal, partner at Richmond Road Medical Centre and member of City and Hackney LMC, explains some of the ways or working which lead to the practice team at Richmond Road being recognised as General Practice Team of the Year at the General Practice Awards last month.

On 30 November 2017 Richmond Road Medical Centre were announced as ‘General Practice Team of the Year 2017’ at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. This award seeks to recognise the primary care team that has had the largest positive impact on improving patient care in their GP practice and their local area.

Richmond Road Medical Centre has always strived to provide a high performing, efficient and safe practice for our patients. In recent years, we have experienced an influx of young adults, presenting with challenging health needs, and unique access demands. In 2016, our practice became acutely aware that our systems and processes need to be adapted in order to meet these changing needs appropriately.  

As a team, we invested a significant amount of time and energy to tailor our services in order to meet the demands of our population group. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved. Whilst remaining amongst the highest clinical outcome achievers both locally and nationally, we have pioneered a 48-Hour access model, fully embraced digital technology, and revolutionised the awareness and management of mental health within the entire borough. 

Through this journey, we transformed from a being a regular GP practice, to a centre of innovation, access and opportunity; with patient needs at the forefront of our everyday. GP workload has reduced, our staff report that they feel completely supported and our patient satisfaction rates have never been higher.

Health Outcomes

Clinical excellence and delivery will always remain our priority and we are proud of our achievements in this regard. This ensures our patients remain healthy.

48 Hour Access

This model was established in response to increasing demands of our patient group who wanted online access, remote appointments, and a GP review when they wanted it; so this is exactly what we created. Our new access system ensures that all patients get seen within 48 hours of making contact with the surgery. Albeit for advice, reassurance or an appointment, when our patients call the surgery, if required, they speak straight to the GP. There is no waiting for a call back and no risk of missed calls. The knowledge that you will be seen within 48 hours of needing an appointment is powerful and has revolutionised the patient experience at Richmond Road.

Digital Technology

This year, our practice has shown the fastest rate of growth for patients registered online within the borough. Patients registered online can pre-book telephone consultations at a time that suits them from 7am onwards; completely negating the need to physically call the surgery entirely. This is very popular with patients who want minimal disruption during the working day. 

Mental Health Awareness

This year, the practice hosted the first ever practice based Mental Health Awareness Event which was open to the entire borough. Over 6 months of planning resulted in an exhibition of over 30 exhibitors creating awareness of services available to patients. The event was a huge success, visited by over 400 patients and local colleagues. The event was a huge success and illustrated an array of services patients had been previously unaware of.

Patients are seeing the change within the practice and now seeking help. In addition, new patients are registering especially because of our work on awareness. Whilst it may only be a small step to breaking the stigma of mental health, we are extremely proud of this accomplishment.

Innovative Measures

Yoga & Mindfulness: We now host in-house counselling, psychodynamic therapy, practice based yoga and mindfulness classes; the first within City & Hackney.

Social Media: As a practice, we have had to think creatively to keep patients engaged, leading to our use of social media as a portal to encourage patient involvement. The practice is now extremely active on both Instagram and Facebook. (Instagram, @richmondroadmedicalcentre, Facebook @richmondroadmedicalcentre).


The official *Mental Health Awareness* Roller Banner has arrived! Don't miss out - 11th May 2017, 4-8pm, Richmond Road Medical Centre, Hackney. E8 3HN. Call us on 0207 254 2298 for more information. Find out about the services available to you within City & Hackney. The event will feature in Hackney Today & Hackney Gazette. We look forward to seeing you there! #mhaw17 #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #london #hackney #angel #shoreditch #londonfields #yoga #yogini #yogaposes #yogajourney #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #mind #mindfulness #instagram #instagood #instadaily #instagramers #vscocam #vsco

A post shared by RichmondRoadMedicalCentre (@richmondroadmedicalcentre) on

 Workforce Development

Collaborative Training: Triaging morning calls alongside a GP has significantly enhanced the level of support felt by our administrative team. Staff are able to learn from the way patients are managed by the GP and can now skilfully signpost and handle many patient queries independently.

Daily GP triage alongside the reception team has created a unique opportunity for teaching and training and has become a two-way learning process, such that whilst administrative staff can observe and learn from GP management of calls, GPs can also reflect upon the nature of demands placed upon receptionists and modify process accordingly. Happier patients result in reduced pressures on the front line. This process has gone a long way towards building strong relationships between the entire practice team. 

Ownership & Accountability: Our clinical achievement at the highest level is based on a model which involves the entire staff team contributing to target achievement; via regular training, clinical and non-clinical buddies and regular progress reviews. Our model has now been rolled out in 7 other practices within the borough.

Opportunity: Awareness days create opportunity for staff to learn new skills, liaise with new people and host events; contributing significantly towards professional development and building upon team morale.

The Results

Our health outcomes are highest both locally and nationally (2016/17).

  • Total QOF achievement: 9% (above CCG + National Average)
  • 100% QOF achievement in majority of domains including: Asthma/ COPD/ Depression/Diabetes/Hypertension
  • Cervical Screening: 6% (above CCG + National Average)
  • Amongst highest achievement in City & Hackney Primary Care Dashboard
  • Rated Outstanding in CQC Report for management of long-term conditions (2016)

We now guarantee appointments within 48 Hours and our DNA rate has reduced from 8.6% (June 2016) to 1.8% (June 2017).

Patient satisfaction has increased:

  • Friends & Family Feedback (2016-to date) has shown that 96% of patients would be extremely likely or very likely to recommend our practice.
  • The City & Hackney CCG Survey has evidenced that 100% of patients questioned rated their experience of making an appointment as ‘very good’.
  • Our NHS Choices feedback has been overwhelming since the initiation of our new system. We have had 41 consecutive 5 star ratings, and are proud to be one of only three 5 star rated practices within the borough.
Last updated : 24 Jan 2018


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