Hillfoot Surgery - Meeting 10 High Impact Actions

Health and social care

Recent NHS research has found that at least 19% of GP workload might be better handled by someone other than the GP.

Managing workloads has therefore become a high priority for general practices and with the 10 High Impact Actions, many practices are now working towards just that. The 10 High Impact Actions involve providing more options for patients, promoting self-care and improving workflows and productivity within general practice with the aim of releasing more time.

Hillfoot Surgery is just one practice meeting some of the 10 High Impact Actions. The practice has been encouraging patients to self-care in-house, and we’ve provided the tools to help them push this encouragement to the next level.

New consultations and care options

Currently piloting Online Triage, Gillian Schofield, deputy practice manager at Hillfoot Surgery says “it’s early days but we’re looking forward to seeing more people use it.” Online Triage will play a significant role in releasing more time for GPs.  By offering alternative consultations to patients who struggle to make it in to the practice and providing access to clinical content, Online Triage guide patients to the appropriate self-care material.

The practice always encourages patients to contact their pharmacy as a first port-of-call which not only provides patients with another way to self-care, but also helps the practice to improve partnership working. By directing patients to a pharmacy, the practice is able to offer more face to face GP appointments to patients in urgent need of them. This means that this active signposting method of directing patients to their local pharmacist not only frees up time in the practice but also builds relationships within the healthcare community and provides more effective care.

“When patients call us with symptoms that can be managed by visiting a pharmacy, we always promote them first time.”

Gillian Schofield, deputy practice manager, Hillfoot Surgery.

Productive workflows

GP Web is also freeing up more time for practice staff by enabling patients to book their appointments online, meaning they don’t need to call the practice every time they need an appointment. This frees up the time of reception staff, allowing them to be more productive and get on with other important admin tasks.

“Our website works as an information site. We make sure it’s updated with up-to-date opening times, bank holiday working hours, surgery news and a symptom checker. This is so patients don’t need to call, and can just go on our website.”

Gillian Schofield

Gillian comments that “a lot of people go to our website to book appointments.” The practice then use their website to its highest potential, using the site to share important information on opening times and practice news. This again reduces the amount of times patients have to contact the practice to gather information and allows your admin and front of house team to be more productive.

Through the use of Patient Check-in, the practice improves their workflow further as patients don’t have to visit reception when they arrive.

“The majority of patients use our check-in system. It helps with the flow of patients coming in and out, as less people need to visit reception.”

Gillian Schofield

Active signposting

Directing patients to the information they need in order to manage their own care more effectively is a huge part of the 10 High Impact Actions. Digital Signage and Patient Call systems allow the practice to display key health messages and direct patients to information sources while they are in the waiting room. Through the use of these two systems, Hillfoot Surgery is able to support their patients’ self-care.

“We always use the digital signage to prompt people to care for their own health. They’re easy to use and update, so they’re always on, and we make sure we change them each week so people are reading different things all the time.”

Gillian Schofield

The surgery do an amazing job of keeping their patients up to date with important information and encourage them to manage their own health in a number of ways, providing much needed support for self-care.

Personal Productivity

The clinicians at Hillfoot Surgery are also able to improve their productivity, through Patient Call systems. Thanks to a call-through message displayed on the digital screens in the waiting room, patients know where to go for their appointment without the clinician leaving the treatment room to fetch them. This saves time by enabling the clinician to be set up and ready for the appointment when the patient enters the treatment room.

“We’ve always used patient call to call patients into the GPs room. We make sure the volume’s on, so patients hear the call and get up straight away, meaning there’s no delay, and GPs can make the most out of the consultation time.” 

Gillian Schofield

Hillfoot Surgery are using the tools they have to reach a number of these 10 High Impact Actions and improve the services they offer to their patients. By incorporating the High Impact Actions into their practice, they have been able to manage their appointments and time more effectively, whilst improving patient care and reducing costs.

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