Livi, your virtual practice partner


Navigating the GP contract landscape: innovations in primary care

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The GP contract has been met with harsh criticism from GPs who are struggling to provide quality patient care in the face of increased costs, funding cuts and a significant administrative burden. And healthcare practices are also now seeing patient satisfaction drop. According to the headlines public satisfaction with the NHS has never been so low. Interestingly, patients seem to understand that staff, especially front line clinicians, are not the ones responsible for the current state of affairs.

With local elections happening across the country in May and a general election being called by the end of the year, the NHS is a headline topic, with primary care reform drawing particular attention. Although extra funding is being discussed, plans seem to be focussing more on how innovation can help increase efficiencies. With funding for the NHS currently at around 11-12% (and rising!) of the UK’s GDP, patients, GPs, and policy makers are pressing for not just more money, but for existing budgets to be better spent.

In our experience, healthcare doesn’t just differ nationally - it is local and regional. Five years ago, the General Practice Forward View provided a sustainable funding program for specific digital solutions, however funding has now changed to short term, with unpredictable income streams. Since then, it is increasingly difficult to scale healthcare innovation, reduce fragmentation and improve cost efficiencies as local healthcare is pumping public funds into promoting legacy IT systems to maintain the status quo. So what can be done to improve efficiency and lower costs of care?

Innovation in primary care

Patients and clinicians are already showing a preference for a convenient and personalised healthcare system with digital at the core.

Long-term plans for structural reform increasingly involve a move towards online or digital solutions, which require the NHS to overcome certain challenges, such as interoperability restrictions, outdated IT systems and difficulty accessing funding, which are key reasons for the delays to multiple online services, including the implementation of NHS-wide electronic health records.

Attempts to solve these issues are taking place at every level, which is why we work with policy makers, PCNs, ICBs and practices to integrate digital capacity and communication tools for all, from individual practices to fully scalable ICB integrations.

With primary care under pressure to deliver increasingly more with less, Livi is a leading Virtual Practice Partner. We provide digital clinical capacity (GPs and ACPs) as well as a suite of technology tools that successfully support practices to integrate digital and increase capacity and their efficiency, including digital appointments via video, practice management tools, and patient messaging services.

Digital solutions for real-world problems

We’ve spent years developing, refining and implementing our solutions with over 4,000 practices across the UK. The latest GP contract, despite missing the mark in the details, identifies areas for improvement we’ve been passionate about for years: flexibility, better patient access, and less bureaucracy. We’re developing solutions and we’re constantly looking for opportunities for innovation; we don’t tie practices into inflexible contracts nor do we ask them to make financial commitments. Instead, we work with practices when they need us to scale services and practices only pay for appointments that are booked. For patients; it’s about improved access, increased flexibility and personalisation. For healthcare professionals; it’s about spending less time on admin and delivering the right care at the right time. For public payer partners; we shift focus to capacity at lower cost.

Solving problems with Livi

1. The problem: a shortage of experienced GPs

According to the BMJ, more GPs are retiring early (before state retirement age) compared to numbers from 2008 and the government looks set to miss their promise of 6,000 extra GPs by 2024.

The GP contract focuses on staffing flexibility, and that’s what we offer.

The solution: digital appointments your patients can book with their choice of GP

We can offer same and next day appointments with over 500 GMC-registered GPs. And we’re doing it without contracts and long term financial commitments.

2. The problem: interoperability

Different systems between facilities means that doctors often don’t have access to an entire patient record. They have to rely on patients giving their histories and remembering their medication accurately.

The solution: a digital record in patients’ pockets

A patient’s notes are stored on your practice system and on the app, so they can see their referrals and have a record of their prescriptions. We work across all NHS systems, including EMIS and SystmOne, and our interface is incredibly easy to use.

3. The problem: communication

Communication with patients still often takes the form of letters in the post. This increases the risk for error with patients not remembering or not receiving their appointment or any updates.

The solution: multiple engagement touch points

Our Mjog communication tools can send appointment reminders and batch messages to inform patients about services at practices, thereby improving communication and engagement.

Looking towards the future

The GP Contract for 2024/25 has been met with frustration and still needs to go some way in shoring up the future health of general practice in the UK. However, the overarching principles detailed in the contract around innovation and easier procurement can inform how we work as a partner to practices, PCNs and ICBs. Our solutions improve outcomes for patients and make life easier for healthcare professionals through enhanced capacity and improved access.

How can Livi help you?

As a leading digital healthcare provider, Livi can deliver a range of support to ICSs, PCNs and practices. Our solutions and services include digital consultation technology, clinical capacity, smart messaging, and patient engagement and remote monitoring tools.

Speak to the team