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For Immediate Release 


10th March, UK - Healthcare staffing specialists Patchwork Health and digital healthcare company Push Doctor are launching a national partnership to help primary care services overcome the capacity challenges created by the combination of COVID pressures and the vaccination roll-out. 


As a result of this first-of-a-kind partnership, GP practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs), groups of GP practices working together at scale, who are using Patchwork’s flexible temporary staff pools to fill short-term vacancies, can now also broadcast vacant virtual consultation shifts to digital locum clinicians through the Push Doctor network. 


This means that when the demand for in-person or virtual consultations exceeds the capacity of available staff, rota gaps can be efficiently filled, and patient care can be delivered quickly and flexibly to all those who need it. 


With the ongoing COVID pressures and the logistical challenges of the vaccination programme placing a heavy burden on primary care services, initiatives such as this are set to prove critical to the maintenance of routine patient care. 


Taking advantage of this offering will allow a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to offer up to 300 additional appointments per day - helping tackle the current NHS backlog. 


This partnership builds on Patchwork’s recent work with PCNs across the UK to design and launch bespoke staff bank projects, many within just 7 days. These projects have included the creation of GP Collaborative Staff Banks to roll out COVID vaccinations in Liverpool and the creation and staffing of COVID-19 hot clinics to manage staff sourcing and redeployment during the pandemic. 


With four weeks until the end-of-March deadline, £120k grants are being offered to primary care systems to support the deployment of sessional clinical capacity needs (in line with the COVID-19 response, vaccination rollout, and the implementation of the Primary Care Flexible Staff Pools). Patchwork Health has been appointed by NHS England as a recommended supplier on their ‘Framework for Digital Solutions’, which has been designed to connect primary care providers with the technology solutions they need to solve staffing challenges. 


Dr Anas Nader, Co-Founder and CEO of Patchwork Health, said:  


“We’re excited to be launching this first-of-its-kind collaboration between Patchwork and Push Doctor, and to be facilitating the matching of additional GP workforce capacity with patient demand for virtual consultations. 


“Our new partner GP practices will be positioned at the forefront of tech-enabled efficiency when it comes to delivering frontline care. Not only will making thousands of virtual appointments available directly benefit patients, it will also help to protect GPs from burnout and exemplify the merits of flexible working in the NHS.   


“Reports from the British Medical Association (BMA) now suggest that the pressures of working through the pandemic have left 28% of doctors more likely to retire early and 21% more likely to leave the NHS for another career. There’s a clear need for workable solutions to support the NHS post-pandemic recovery. 

“Push Doctor are valued partners in our mission to solve the workforce challenges currently being faced by the NHS. This new collaboration marks a step further towards creating better outcomes for workers, managers and patients through our end-to-end workforce management offering.


Wais Shaifta, Chief Executive, Push Doctor, said: 

“This partnership with Patchwork paves way for another opportunity to provide patients with better access to primary care, while supporting GP practices with additional resource, capacity, and resilience as the NHS delivers the mass vaccination programme and tackles the extensive backlog of appointments.

“There has been a surge in demand for virtual GP consultations, as the pandemic necessitated a shift from face-to-face to telephone or video consultations. But beyond their use during the pandemic, the benefits of video consultations are clear for both patients and clinicians alike and must become a core part of the healthcare landscape in the future. Our mission is to make healthcare more accessible and convenient for patients and clinicians alike, and we’re excited to see the benefits that this partnership will provide.” 

All doctors on the Push Doctor network are fully GMC-registered and qualified to consult with patients, write prescriptions, sick notes and arrange referrals. The service is completely free at the point of access for registered patients of Patchwork’s partner GP practices. 


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Last Updated: 10-Mar-2021