InHealth was founded in 1983 and has over 1000 employees. InHealth’s services are delivered from over 280 locations across the UK and Ireland. InHealth has worked with a significant majority of all NHS Trusts in the United Kingdom over the last 20 years, seeing over 500,000 patients in 2013. Patient satisfaction rating of excellent or very good is consistently over 94%. The London Diagnostic Service delivers a range of 10 diagnostic tests from over 50 locations across London to 100,000 patients per year for and on behalf of the 31 Clinical Commissioning Groups. These tests include MRI, endoscopy, adult hearing, echocardiography and non-obstetric ultrasound.
InHealth selected The Telemarketing Company to promote a community diagnostic service from its multiple sites across London. This service is attractive to GPs because:
- Waiting times are usually only 2-4 weeks
- As a direct-access service the care and management of the patient remains with the GP and is not passed over to secondary care
- Diagnostic reports to GPs incorporate recommendations for patient management and InHealth can evidence that this leads to fewer hospital referrals
- As a direct access service no charge is levied for outpatients saving at least £280 per referral
- Improved early diagnosis, particularly for cancers, leads to improved clinical outcomes
The target was GP practices and specifically Practice Managers within the practices to get InHealth to attend Practice meetings, Locality meetings and Practice Manager meetings to explain the benefits of In Health’s community diagnostic services. Practices are likely to typically have between 2 – 6 GP partners and 1 Practice Manager.
Practice Managers are the key decision-makers for getting InHealth attendance at these meetings with the GPs being the referrers who will determine where potential referrals go, i.e. either to InHealth, or in to the local NHS acute hospital, or to other Independent Sector NHS / private sites.
The data for the exercise was provided by InHealth, and consisted of all London GP practices by CCG.
Project Execution and Results
The campaign started by targeting all GP practices in a handful of CCGs and the calling team was briefed on site in Brighton. A healthy discussion and a couple of detailed and clinical case studies brought the service to life.
From the outset calls were varied, and Practice Managers gave feedback on such issues as the provision of customer care, the speed of receipt of results, how many pages are included in a standard fax, bus routes and car parking provision.
InHealth listened to every call and absorbed every scrap of feedback. It became evident to all early on that the best way of approaching the call was to let the customer do the talking as much as was possible and from this approach, a treasure chest of feedback came tumbling out. By the end of the first full week of calling, a result was being produced in every three hours of calling and this continued to improve.
Further campaigns for Prime Endoscopy Bristol Limited and Inhealth Endoscopy Limited followed; both aimed to provide GP’s with rapid access to a diagnostic test offering a management plan to assist the GP to make the appropriate clinical decision about a patient’s future care. A campaign is currently being planned for Echotech. Echotech provides standard, adult, transthoracic echocardiography (Echo) services to the NHS in community, out-of-hospital settings - allowing patients with suspected heart disease to receive ‘the right test at the right time in the most clinically appropriate local setting’.