To successfully reverse the direction of care, you need to first understand how patients are accessing services. Are you doing enough?
It is well known that the NHS is feeling the strain and is under pressure to prioritise and allocate care to patients when they need it the most. With reports over the Christmas period of trusts at over 99% capacity, it is vital that NHS organisations understand how patients are using services, and more importantly still, recognise when the direction of care needs to be reversed.
As an example, patients often see primary care within the NHS as the first port of call and it is often the first point of contact for patients. Approximately 90% of patient interaction is with primary care and for this reason it’s commonly referred to as the ‘Front Door’ to the NHS. Now imagine if those patients first took the steps to visit their pharmacist, self care at home, or – right at the start of the cycle – have a healthier lifestyle.
Reversing the direction of care will mean that care is available at a time when patients need to access it the most. Gaining insights into patient behaviour as to how they are accessing services will drive efficiencies and ensure the best return on investment for your organisation without compromising service.
What can you do?
Using our experience in delivering complex research projects for the NHS, in this blog we are sharing our tried and tested approach to deliver actionable insights to shape necessary changes in reversing the direction of care.
- Review current service access – Do you know if the public are over using a particular service due to insufficient access to other services? Are there any trends to highlight how services are being accessed? Do you even know what the public want from primary care – seven day GP appointments, extended hours surgeries, telephone appointments? The first step in shaping services is to consult and ask the public what their needs are.
- Education – In our experience there is confusion on what services should be accessed when, from where, and by whom. It’s essential to see the service structure through patients’ eyes and understand how to communicate and educate on current services. Understanding the problem before looking at the solution will lead to sustained results.
- Develop social marketing – Developing and co-creating social marketing campaigns with the public will lead to and encourage positive behavioural change. Areas of focus should be self care, healthy living and creating educational campaign materials to outline steps to be taken when accessing services.
- Consult with staff – Ask those that know. Tap into the expertise of your primary care staff at grass roots level and deep dive to understand their experiences and solutions to support you to achieve your vision.
Why Explain Market Research; and how we will deliver actionable insights.
The decision to meaningfully uncover actionable insights into how patients are accessing care will be one of the most valuable consultation activities you will undertake. For that reason, you should use an independent expert.
Having worked with the health sector nationally for over a decade on a range of research projects, Explain Market Research has developed a unique and relevant skill set aligned to research and engagement within both the NHS and private health sector; we are providing insights which are underpinning changes to models of care nationally.
Examples of our work include:
- Supporting an extensive public consultation and evaluation regarding emergency care services in Northumberland and North Tyneside, working with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Independent pre-consultation research and engagement with a focus on acute care services, working with West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), North Hampshire CCG and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Public consultation and evaluation specifically around the provision of maternity services across Northumberland and North Tyneside, working with Northumberland CCG
- Research to gather in-depth insight to help shape new models of care around a single patient portal in Dudley, on behalf of Dudley CCG
Follow the links above to read our case studies in full.
- Independent: You can be confident that our advice will be impartial, open and focused and will deliver a return on investment
- Bespoke solutions: Offering a range of research methodologies from the traditional to the innovative, always focussing on the best approach to deliver actionable insights for your organisation
- Experts in consultation: With a longstanding track record of delivering pre-consultation and consultation research into changes of care within the NHS, we are sector experts
- Research that unlocks insight: Delivering a range of research solutions including: public consultation, stakeholder research, brand awareness and perceptions, customer and employee research.
Contact us today to find out how we could support you and get in touch with our team to understand more about the solutions we provide.