CEO Blog: Autumn 2023


Welcome to the Autumn blog of 2023 from Shropdoc CEO Dan Robinson.


I need to start, as always, with the recognition of our staff team’s contribution to Shropdoc and its achievements. The hard work and commitment of our team are clear to see, and the resulting patient care is a testament to those efforts - thank you.


Winter Pressures – Ensuring the Best for Our Patients

Thank you to our team here at Shropdoc for everything they have done and continue to do for our patients and all those receiving care as we head towards a really busy winter period. Whether they are providing direct care, supporting colleagues or leading services and teams, I know their contribution is making a major difference for the communities we serve across England and Wales.


The past few years have been some of the most challenging that health and social care and our professions have faced in modern times. It is clear that there will be further challenges ahead over the coming weeks and months as we look towards Winter. I wanted to take the opportunity to express profound gratitude for the continued professionalism and hard work of our teams and to renew our assurances of support.


As we all know, there is already sustained additional demand across all of our health services. We all need to support one another during this time, ensuring that as part of a team, we recognise the impact of coping in challenging circumstances, providing support and advice as it’s needed.


Quality Service Improvement and Redesign at Shropdoc


Demand and Capacity Review 2023-2024

We have recently undertaken a comprehensive review of demand and capacity across our services. This has been made possible by investments in our digital and business capability, as well as the excellent work that has been undertaken by several talented people from across our departments.


To maximise patient flow, we have looked at the entire patient journey. By analysing and understanding the demand and capacity of our services, we identified areas where capacity did not meet demand. This resulted in reduced levels of service performance, delays and difficult working conditions for our staff and GP Members. The necessary amendments are currently in the process of being implemented to create a better patient and staff experience. 


With the support of our enhanced digital and business capacity, our demand and capacity will continue to be actively monitored to identify any additional changes which may be needed to ease waiting times, and address any bottlenecks or constraints early on. 


Our Team

Employee Engagement

In September 2023, the Employee Engagement Survey was launched for all employees at Shropdoc. The survey was created with our values at its core so that each area of questions aligned with our value statements “Kindness, Community, Integrity, Development and Quality”. 


The Executive Management Team have reviewed all feedback and is in the process of developing an Engagement Action Plan. We will soon be updating all staff with the key areas of focus and how we will move forward to support the results of the survey. 


Urgent Health UK Awards - Innovation of the Year 

The annual Urgent Health UK (UHUK) Conference was held on October 31st, 2023, and I am extremely proud to let you know that the Shropdoc CCC/SPA Team was nominated and shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year Category.


This year’s conference was held at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth and brought together more than 150 leading healthcare professionals, policy-makers, researchers and innovators from various sectors to explore the challenges and opportunities in ensuring urgent and integrated healthcare within NHS primary and community services.


The nomination for the CCC/SPA team is well deserved, and the nomination recognised all of the hard work and incredible effort that has gone into its creation. 


Steve Hugh Award 

The Steve Hugh Award has been presented over many years at Shropdoc in memory of Dr Steve Hugh, Shropdoc’s previous Medical Director, who sadly passed away suddenly in 2005. 


Traditionally given each year to a health professional or team who is responsible for providing or developing a service that goes beyond normal expectations to benefit patients, we will be announcing the 2023 winner in November.


Steve was involved with Shropdoc from its earliest days - he was committed to improving

the quality of services and setting the highest standards in clinical excellence. He was a major influence on the development of Shropdoc from a GP out-of-hours service into a service delivering the complex range of services they coordinate and deliver 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


As the Medical Director of Shropdoc he showed great interest not only in the services provided by Shropdoc but also those of other allied health professionals in the local community and I am really pleased to bring back the presentation of the award in 2023.


Support - Paycare

We believe that all employees should have access to healthcare without having to worry about the cost; this is why we offer all of our staff the opportunity to sign up to Paycare; our employee assistance programme


The plan covers a wide range of benefits, including optical, dental, and physiotherapy. It also gives 24-hour access to a GP consultation service and a confidential telephone counselling helpline.


Dependent children (up to the age of 18, living at the same address) are covered as standard, and Shropdoc pay for level 1 cover for all of our colleagues free of charge.


Organisational development

DHU announcement as NHS 111 Provider West Midlands

Following a robust national procurement exercise, NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) and NHS Black Country ICB are pleased to confirm on behalf of all Midlands ICBs that DHU Healthcare has moved to preferred provider status for the NHS 111 contract covering the entire midlands region. 


DHU Healthcare is the long-standing NHS111 services provider for the East Midlands and has also more recently held the similar contract in parts of the West Midlands.  The contract will deliver consistent patient pathways to our patients, improving their patient experience and supporting a positive patient journey to achieve the vision of right care, first time at the point of access.


As the preferred bidder, DHU Healthcare will now work with ICBs to agree and sign a contract that will last five years. Once signed, the new contract will cover more than 11-million patients across 11 ICBs.


Health and Wellbeing

Shropdoc Shufflers

The Shufflers were out and about again in September and it is fantastic to see so many of the team getting involved. 


Their latest walk saw the group take on a flat 7.5 mile route around Ellesmere and Welshampton - with stretches along the Shropshire Union and Llangollen Canals and through the heart of the Meres and Mosses Landscape. 


It’s not all hard work for the Shufflers though, as some of the group took the opportunity to visit The Boathouse restaurant in Ellesmere for a delicious lunch after the walk. 


Charity and Community

It was wonderful to see our teams coming together to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care with a coffee morning Shrewsbury this month.


The sounds of Shrewsbury’s Town Crier rang out across the Longbow site as he officially opened the coffee morning - after crowning Holly Robinson, Administrator to the Clinical Team Leaders, as the winner of the Shropdoc Bake-Off competition with her gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate brownies.


It was a fantastic effort by so many people and raised more than £150 for Macmillan - well done to all involved.


Daniel Robinson                   

Chief Executive Officer

Shropshire Doctors Co-Operative Ltd

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