Hidden hero recognised in Bromley

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A Bromley GP has been recognised as a ‘hidden hero’ for his innovative work which is making a real difference to local primary care services. 

Dr Mark Essop has been awarded a Hidden Heroes award for Outstanding Performance during the Pandemic.  These awards recognise outstanding service in primary care services and were established to identify and celebrate some of the excellent individuals and teams and their incredible work.

Dr Essop received the award for his barcoded flu clinic system which was used to support GP practices during the largest flu vaccination campaign in 2020.   The system involves sending each patient an invitation for their flu vaccination with a barcoded, tear off ticket which is then presented at the flu clinic.   It means that no appointment booking is necessary, the admin process is reduced, appointments are quick, face to face contact is minimal and data entry is highly efficient.  It enabled practices to hold mass flu vaccination clinics, whilst maintaining social distancing.

Dr Essop created easy to use resources which were shared online and with practice managers and GPs across the country.  He held webinars, offered advice, and would troubleshoot issues any of his local practices encountered.  This gave practices the tools and confidence to deliver vaccinations to large cohorts of patients whilst they were in the midst of managing organisational change and public anxiety at the height of the pandemic.   Implementing the system in Bromley contributed to the borough being one of the highest performers in London for delivery of the flu vaccination.

Dr Essop works for the South East London Clinical Commissioning Group as a clinical lead for IT and has worked as a GP in Bromley for many years.  He said, “I feel overwhelmed and proud to have received this award and being recognised for my clinical IT work during the pandemic.   I am delighted that the barcoding system has made a real difference to the efficiency of our flu vaccination programme and improved patient experience”.

The awards were established by four Companies who are playing a key role in supporting General Practice with the pandemic: Dene Healthcare, Gama Healthcare, Interface Clinical Services and Practice Index.  Tom Jones of Dene Healthcare said, “2020 was an unprecedented year for health services.  Our awards recognise the amazing work being undertaken in primary care services every day, so we are delighted to recognise Mark’s contribution during the most challenging period in modern times”.

Feedback from patients has been very positive.  “I thought your arrangements for flu jabs were superb – brilliantly planned and executed by a group of very cheerful and helpful staff”.   “Such a brilliant, fast and slick process – pat on the back for everyone involved”.