He's not Dr Dolittle - he is Dr Do-More!

Dr Tom Milligan received his award from comedy actress Sally Phillips.
Dr Tom Milligan received his award from comedy actress Sally Phillips.

An award-winning scheme designed to free up time for GPs which started in Bridlington is set to be rolled out around the country.

Last year, Dr Tom Milligan won a year’s supply of biscuits for his work - last week, he won a prestigious national award for looking at how to make GP practices more efficient so doctors can spend less time on paperwork and more time caring for patients.

He said: “It’s all about freeing up time to do the work we really need to do.

“For example, across the East Riding this winter we will be giving 90,000 flu vaccines. Can we use computers to see which people need which vaccines, and keep track of stock levels?

“We get 300 letters a week coming into the practice from hospitals. How many of these need to be seen by doctors? There are lots of inefficiencies like this.”

On Friday, Dr Milligan, who works at Practice One at Bridlington Medical Centre, was named General Practice Healthcare Leader of the Year Award 2018 at a ceremony in London.

Judges noted that his pioneering work had reduced the amount of time each GP spent on correspondence by 20 minutes per day.

“We are very short of doctors and struggling to recruit,” he added. “My practice is running with two GPs when in the past it had four. We have to look at how we do things.”

Working alongside the Hull University Business School, his new methods have speeded up the way prescription requests are processed and seen the number of patients not turning up for appointments reduce by 26%.

The practices have been used across the East Riding and Dr Gina Palumbo, and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chair said “The CCG is thrilled Tom has won this prestigious award. It is testament to Tom’s dedication and enthusiasm at implementing new and innovative ways of working which help enhance the health outcomes of his patients.

“He also works closely with his peers to spread good practice across other GP practices within the CCG area to improve their capacity to cope more efficiently with the increasing demands placed on them. We are extremely pleased with Tom’s success at the awards.”

It is hoped that the project will now be copied across the country, after Dr Milligan’s success in London last week, when he was presented with his award by comedy actress Sally Phillips.

He said: “I’m delighted that the ideas I have shared on working more efficiently have been recognised nationally. We have together shown a blueprint for a new way of working which can improve patient care.”