The Primary Care Innovation Centre February 2023 Edition:

“A Spring and a Leap into February”

By Liz Leggott, Project Manager


After the festivities of December have subsided and the realities of dark January nights have well and truly set in, I think we need to look at February as the next step towards the light and warmth of Spring.  One step closer to the bulbs in the garden bringing colour and a little bit of joy.  With this in mind, I thought I’d talk about new things…. yes, MORE new things, different new things.

Whilst we continued to test with BodySwaps and work on the Virtual Nurse Placement with Sheffield Hallam University, HEE, Wynnfield Consulting and UI3D, January was a chance to look up and look forward.

I visited the Hull Institute for Learning and Simulation who hosted the HEE XR Roadshow.  Even though I have made contacts with suppliers with the help of the AHSN, this was a chance to see what else was available to test, everything on offer has been negotiated and paid for by the HEE TEL team (and free to me) so I had to take another look.

I liked the look of the HoloLens headset with the GigXR software; this was something I could see working with respiratory training for example.  A nurse educator or session facilitator can create slides on the GigXR software, upload images from Google and the software enables you to manipulate it to how you want the students to view it.  So, looking at the respiratory system, you can strip or slice away so you can see beneath the surface of the lungs for example.  I’ve made that sound simple and I’ve not yet had a go at creating those slides, so we’ll see!  I did however have a meeting with a guy in Brighton through the HoloLens, well actually, I had a conversation with his avatar as it appeared in the room I was in.

I’ve been working with Leeds University to expand their testing of some software using GigXR and the use of a Perinatal Mental Health patient avatar. It has been created initially for mental health students to be able to practice identifying mental health patients (in this instance on a home visit) and then having the conversation with the patient to get them the right help.  I am trying to help Leeds University reach Primary Care, so we have worked on evaluations that will reflect the fact that it’s a Primary Care audience and facilitated a day where clinicians can trial the software using a VR headset.  This does mean that if its successful in its evaluation, it could be something that we purchase to use in our training portfolio and of course a bit of partnership working always helps for possible future ‘asks’ doesn’t it!

If you would like to book onto an hour-long session, we’ll be hosting them at 722 Prince of Wales Road in Sheffield on the 22nd February, click here for more information and to register for a slot. Please also share with your colleagues!

As the Innovation Centre project becomes more widely known in various digital groups across the country, we attract more and more ideas and people with potential funding pots to trial these ideas.  Among them are two potential crackers!!!

GP on call simulator to simulate the experience for new to Primary Care GPs and on a similar vein, a simulated patient trying to book an appointment so that reception and care navigators can practice handling a difficult patient, practice the art of negotiating the booking system and try to find the most appropriate appointment.  Both of these experiences for the first few months are full on in a GP surgery (understatement of the year!) so being able to get used to that before you get thrown in at the deep end must have its benefits, right?!

These won’t necessarily be part of the Innovation Centre testing and therefore won’t come out of that budget, but again if we’re working in partnership with HEE on this, we’re creating a fantastic reputation as leaders in this field… and under the mantle of ‘Primary Care’!?! What’s not to love!?

Watch this space!

Finally, a bit of good news; not only for me, but for the success of the Innovation Centre Project!

I’ve been accepted onto the NHS National Clinical Entrepreneur Programme!!!  This is huge news and a massive deal for the future of this as a business.  This will give me the tools and guidance I need to make this a viable business but keep it within the NHS.  I’ll have access to successful business mentors, training on how to pitch effectively and generally equip me with everything I need for this to be a success.

There were over 300 applicants this year (this is the year 7 cohort of the programme so it’s still relatively new) and last year there were 66 professionals on the programme… I am proud to say that our project beat off some stiff competition to be included this year.  I am honoured/nervous/scared and a little intimidated, but you don’t get anywhere without a little trepidation, right?

Don’t forget we are still looking for professionals to either be filmed or provide information for an actor to be filmed for the 360VR platform.

We need you to:

  • Explain the role & title,
  • What can the role offer patients, what complaints will they see
  • How does the role benefit the practice or PCN (Primary Care Network) they work in.

Do you feel like a budding star?? Register here for more info and to book onto a session.

I’m also still looking for Doncaster and Barnsley representation on the Oversight & Governance Board and the Stakeholder Group!  If you would like to get involved in shaping your future staff’s professional training then please contact me.

Thank you for giving yourself 5 minutes to read this, it’s always appreciated; don’t forget you can always get in touch if you want to talk through anything you have read on any of my blogs to date.

Be part of the change movement.