Opinion: Shaping the future for healthcare

UEL's Professor Verity Brown, is proud of the impact UEL is going to have on Newham's healthcare.

UEL's Professor Verity Brown, is proud of the impact UEL is going to have on Newham's healthcare. - Credit: UEL

The University of East London recently held a Research and Knowledge Exchange Conference which showcased the amazing research being conducted at the university and how it is making a difference to the people of Newham.

The conference heard about a range of practical investigations being carried out in Newham. Typical among these is the work of Dr Darren Sharpe and Lauren Herlitz, members of the Institute of Human Health and Development, led by Professor Angela Harden. This team is piloting interventions which will ease the strain on GPs' surgeries and better support patients in Newham.

The team worked on two programmes based in GP practices in the north east and north west of the borough.

One aims to support people with 'complex needs'. Many people have more than one medical condition or illness and have a range of health professionals helping them. This programme aims to ensure patients receive assurances about the timing and quality of their care.

The second programme aims to reduce the burden on already strained GPs. Innovative digital, administrative and community processes create a triage system to guide people towards opportunities for self-care or to the most appropriate health care professional or other places of support. This helps to preserve GP appointment slots for those who specifically need to see a GP.

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Elements of this programme have been trialled in GP surgeries, but this is the first pilot in Newham that brings all these elements together to assess the full impact. The idea is that patient needs will remain at the forefront of the service - but the NHS will save time and money.

Guided by our Vision 2028 strategy, we are playing a significant and practical role in the lives of our neighbours in Newham. By focussing our research efforts on the needs of the community, we aim to develop policy and techniques that create positive change and benefit everyone.

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