In 2004, I started work as an IT Analyst / Project Manager at Wolverhampton Doctors On Call (WDOC) . This role was part of a small management team running the local Out of Hours GP co-operative service. When local residents needed to access medical care from a Doctor or Nurse when their surgery was closed during evenings, nights, weekends, and bank holidays, they would ring ‘the out of hours service’ – us.
In the nearly seven years that I worked for WDOC, there was a great deal of technological upgrades, developments and service improvements that I led. The service also moved premises and I was part of the project management team for. This was a major logistical challenge finishing work at one venue at 8am, then being ready to open live in a different venue two miles away at 6pm.
Black Country Technical Links
One of the major infrastructure projects that our organisation was part of was the Technical Links programme as we connected digitally with the local Ambulance Trust, NHS Direct, and other GP Out of Hours service providers across the Black Country (Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley) and further afield into the West Midlands. This removed the need for faxing between these care providers and enabled a joined-up tech solution for the Black Country region which had approximately 1 million patients living there.
Statistics and reporting
I implemented a schedule for presenting monthly quality statistics to our commissioning body. This led to improved insight into our performance and brought about increased standards in our service delivery, with patients receiving care sooner and in the most appropriate location – either at the medical centre or at their homes.
The 2009 Swine Flu pandemic required WDOC to provide daily collation and submission of drug dispensing figures to the local commissioners. I took responsibility for this and led on the Tamiflu dispensing figures and monitoring the stock control of this, alongside senior nurses in the service.
I set myself a challenge of saving the equivalent of my own salary in efficiency savings in the service. I identified areas where money could be saved through rota alterations, reviewing footfall and monitoring consultation changeover times for clinicians. This enabled me to highlight areas where savings could be made by the General Manager and the Medical Directors.
I really enjoyed making a difference working in a not-for-profit organisation. My duties ranged from producing performance statistics and reviewing performance against the National Quality Standards, presenting the findings and service improvement suggestions, and implementing service change through tech upgrades, staff training, and monitoring of the day-to-day, or night-to-night service delivery for the benefit of the patients.