In our latest catch-up with the Nexus community we spent time with Sarah Everest-Ford, Strategy Director at OneMedical Group (OMG).
Sarah shares the team’s experience and breakthrough developments during the COVID-19 crisis and looks forward to delivering even greater benefits from partnership working in primary care.
In common with all our Nexus community colleagues and partners, one of the positives we will take out of the COVID-19 crisis is the incredible resourcefulness of our team in the face of considerable change and challenge.
We have amazing people working with us, who have showed great strength and resilience during this difficult time, demonstrating agility and the ability to respond to an ever-changing world.
We first established our COVID-19 Coordination Team back in January, bringing together our Director of Service Delivery, Director of Professions and our HR Manager, to plan our approach. So when lockdown came, we were able to move our central support team very rapidly to work-from-home, with dedicated phone lines, e-mail addresses and a Facebook Group for staff and daily video briefings for the whole team. This enabled us to continue to support all our NHS service delivery teams across the country.
We have over 200 nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, paramedics, physios, personal trainers and health and well-being specialists at OMG, so looking after our team is obviously important now, more than ever.
ADJUSTING TO REMOTE WORKING
Remote working hadn’t been a big part of our culture previously, but the team has adapted brilliantly. Every week for the central support team we have the Monday huddle to share the priorities, ideas and discuss any issues and on Thursdays we have a social get-together on Zoom, where we play a different game each week.
Our online Wellness Hub has enabled both our team, service users and the wider public to access support throughout the pandemic, from the safety of their homes. This includes live exercise, yoga and mindfulness sessions, wellbeing blogs and virtual physiotherapy.
And OneWellness – our private health and fitness hub based in Harrogate– has been delivered free, online, reaching some 850 members.
SUPPORTING THE NHS
We have supported different parts of the NHS during the pandemic, for example providing more bookable appointments in our urgent care centres. Triaging patients through telephone or video consultations has obviously seen a major increase and experiencing how well that works has reassured both GPs and patients.
OMG delivers care to more than 500,000 people a year across 15 NHS primary, urgent and community care settings, but of course each area had specific support needs, during the COVID crisis.
We’ve worked with mental health trusts to model pathways for patients with mental and physical care needs, reducing the burden on emergency departments and our health coach team has been contacting patients that identified as frail to undertake welfare checks and ensure they knew about the support they could access.
COLLABORATION IS KEY
Collaborative working has been at the core of everything we’ve done throughout the crisis and remains the key now as we liaise closely with commissioners and Primary Care Networks to plan COVID-safe urgent and primary care services for the future. The pandemic has accelerated cross-organisational working, the sharing of resources and assets and the development of shared pathways, with digital solutions for both service delivery and patient empowerment playing a fundamental role.
If there is one thing we’ve learned from the experience, it’s that we can do things super quick when we remove barriers and that collaboration is absolutely key to working in healthcare. Patients have proven that they are more than capable of adapting to new ways of working – and that goes for our workforce too. I’m really proud of our team’s achievements through the current crisis and look forward to continued collaborative success.
We also plan to play our part in meeting the challenges that face healthcare and local communities in the future by launching the OMG Foundation. Underpinned by our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, the Foundation will bring together our passion for supporting local communities, developing business innovation and providing leadership and advocacy to our health economy.
As always, we love to hear from all of our Community, get in touch if you’d like to share your story with us.
Find out the latest information, advice and support schemes available in relation to COVID-19 on our hub.