The Primary Care Innovation Centre January 2023 Edition:

“Plant the seed, Nourish the soil, Harvest the fruits”

By Liz Leggott, Project Manager


Happy New Year! I hope the start to your 2023 has been gentle on you!

Let’s see what this year will bring.

I feel like I need to explain my profile pic this month… this was taken on a Well-Being Day in the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield; what (or rather who) I’m holding is ‘Froggatt the Boggart’.  He’s a forest Boggart I made… doesn’t everyone??  An excellent day ending with Christmas wreath making.

December was busy, as busy as January is promising to be too.

We delivered a facilitated session with BodySwaps, using headsets to create a fully immersive experience when looking at behaviours and body language (non-clinical topics).  We had a couple of technical teething problems with accessing the Wi-Fi on the headsets and people getting used to the controls and menus to navigate the programme but nothing we weren’t expecting.

Some great feedback was given, and some real life uses for the software suggested.  One in particular was that we could use this for the international GPs and clinicians to help them acclimatise to the cultural differences they’ll experience.  So, we’re looking at that.

We have another facilitated Body Swaps session booked for the 11th January that you can still book onto (afternoon session), please complete the Registration Form to join us for either the morning or afternoon session.

Rotherham GP Soumya Rao came to the session and was so impressed that she has expressed an interest in the process and the whole project of the innovation centre!  After speaking with the Oversight & Governance Board for the project we thought it an advantage to gain General Practice representation onto the Board and the Stakeholder Group, who would join the Pharmacy, Dentistry and Eye Care colleagues in the group.  As a result, we now have a GP from Sheffield, Ben Allen and have sent out communications to Doncaster and Barnsley colleagues and waiting for a response.  I’ll update on the Barnsley and Doncaster representatives as soon as I can.

As always, you can always contact me for more details on this at any time.

In the December blog I talked about what we could do with the 360VR. We’ve had a lot of people interested in learning more about what it could be used for and how far we could go with it by adding all the elements we talked about (videos, quizzes, evaluation forms, background noise etc.) so much so that we’ve had an idea.

Could we use the 360VR as a platform to develop and test a virtual Primary Care Nurse placement for nursing students at university?  Incorporating some virtual activities, being involved in observed clinical sessions, giving an idea on what it is like to be in the GP Practice environment etc.  We know that at the moment, we cannot replace the placement 100% and provide everything that is required within that placement, but what if we can get 70-80% virtual??  We also know that we have to be very clear on the definition and the difference of the simulated nurse hours that the university provides.

We are looking at setting it up in three parts as the above diagram shows but creating a schedule to cover an entire week, where each module would be represented by a session in the week.  If we can do this and prove that it meets the needs of the students, then we could reduce the pressure on GP practices by reducing time and supervision required. We could have more students exposed to the General Practice environment safely and to the same standard experience as each other and we’d begin to create some nursing supervisors and educators who have a greater grasp on the different technologies available and use thereof, potentially opening them and their team up to other technology solutions in practice. In turn we’d hope to create some early adopters with any new technologies introduced to practice.

This all sounds great and doable when you say it fast and with conviction; don’t get me wrong there’s a lot of work to do to get this off the ground but if we do and its successful, this could be the first of its kind.

I need to ask you for your help too! As part of the virtual placement and some work we’re doing with the Primary Care Doncaster Corporate team we need to record short videos of various roles in general practice.  We need colleagues to:

  • Explaining their role & title
  • What they can offer patients, what complaints will they see
  • How their role benefits the practice or PCN (Primary Care Network) they work in

Initially we asked for Doncaster staff to come forward because the studio was in Doncaster and the fact that PCD wanted to produce the same thing but we, as a Hub and the project we need it for, can recruit from the South Yorkshire wide area.

Do you feel like a budding star??  We have had a fabulous podiatrist and pharmacy technician involved… will you be next??  Register here for more info and to book onto a session

With all this going on I am still finding time to sniff out new contacts, potential investors and partners for future working.  There are some great and successful companies out there who have heard of the project and are interested in being part of the Innovation Centre, who will be able to help us provide an amazing service and experience…. Between me and you I’ve met with Microsoft and bumped into Google!!

Great relationships continue to build with universities, training providers and other simulation and training centres similar to (but not the same as) ours.  Even though I often feel like I’m pushing a giant boulder up a hill sometimes, I know that this is worthwhile. I know that there is so much pressure on our system, that we have to do something different.  I hope you; dear readers can see that this is different, it has the potential to ease some of the pressure, to give us what we need and to be something of a beacon to others across the country.

Thank you for choosing to spend your time reading this, I hope that you’ll believe in it as much as I do, and it does what it’s meant to do…