GP appointed to spread NHS innovations and join up care

Dr Karen Kirkham has been appointed as National Clinical Advisor for Primary Care to help spread NHS innovations which integrate health and social care throughout England.

Working with the NHS England transformation team, the Dorset-based GP, who specialises in women’s health, will work with the wider GP community to spread tried and tested innovation and transformation techniques across the country.

Having established the trailblazing Dorset Integrated Care System which pulls the local health system together, Kirkham will visit places and learn about their innovations and take them to other areas, encouraging health professionals to ‘lift and shift’ the successful models and spread good practice. ‘Virtual wards’ have led to a reduction in unplanned admissions to Dorset County Hospital, the lowest rate of the three acute trusts in the county and this same approach is starting to be seen across the county.

Dr Kirkham said: “I’m passionate about doing things differently and in Dorset already we’ve shown how by using new models of care can we make the patient experience so much better. I’m committed to strengthening primary care as the foundation of the NHS and I have a strong interest in integrating health and care services across the system. As part of this new role I want to ensure high quality and sustainable general practice as a fundamental building block within ICS’ and develop population health analytics and management systems to provide the basis for intelligent decision making.

“This is all about the patients. Our patients are changing and the NHS needs to adapt as well. To sustain us for the future we need to transform what we do so that we’re providing what people need. I want to ensure that the founding principles on which the NHS was built are maintained but also that the NHS modernises and becomes once again a world leader in best health and care outcomes.”

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