Category Archive News


Launch of Dr Neil Paul’s Blog

Dr Neil Paul has officially launched his new blog site which can be found at  In developing this site Dr Neil Paul recognises that he comes across lots of products that have potential to transform the lives of both clinicians and patients, but many struggle to get any publicity, feedback or uptake. He wanted to create a space for users to find out about these products and to connect innovators with early adopters. He also wants to share his thoughts and experiences of primary care IT and encourage innovation.

Included within the site is a directory of companies with solutions for primary care and companies are invited to list their product direct on the site.  To do this please visit


Digital Urinalysis within Primary Care

Dr Neil Paul and Mike Pyrah recently met with Katharine Ward, Chief Commercial Officer to discuss possible collaboration opportunities with Healthy IO.  Healthy IO is the first company to be CE accredited for transforming the smart phone camera into a clinical grade medical device. The first product is digital urinalysis which enables patients to undertake accurate urine testing at home, enabling self-management of long term conditions,  reduction in face to face clinical time, prevention of admissions (embedded in the right pathways) as well as driving the prevention and quality agenda.

This product and the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Katherine Ward were recently selected for the NHS Innovation Accelerator.  More information about Healthy IO can be found at


Digital Solutions for Wound Care and Management

Howbeck Healthcare recently met with Urgo Medical to discuss joint working opportunities with Howbeck Healthcare and the Federations it supports in innovative digital solutions for wound care and management. Urgo Medical was established in 2002 and is now a major contributor to the UK wound healing community, offering a complete range of wounds management dressing and bandages.


Working at scale within primary care develops at pace!

Howbeck Healthcare has been working with the GP Federations that it supports on a range of ‘Working at Scale’ initiatives, taking on board views and comments of local practices of what’s important.  Following an initial scoping exercise, identified areas of focus are back office functions such as Human Resources and Health and Safety as well as shared clinical services, CQC support and training and development.

Following the identification of a range of suppliers, Howbeck Healthcare is facilitating a ‘pitching event’ for representatives across its Federations to hear first hand some of the services which can be offered ‘at scale’ whilst ensuring a high quality, cost effective service for practices.


Performance appraisal and learning within the primary care setting

The key to developing a high performing culture is understanding your workforce – giving them the opportunity to drive their own performance and development, and you the opportunity to support them along the way.

Howbeck Healthcare recently met with the Managing Director of Thirsty Horses Ltd, Ray Pendleton to discuss how Workpal, an organisational development tool which brings together performance appraisal and learning to deliver true performance management could be utilised within the primary care setting.  Thirsty Horses is an Organisational Development consultancy, established in 2009 that specialises in helping its clients achieve a high performance culture.


Support for GP Practices – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Practice Managers across the Federations that we support have requested assistance in ensuring they are prepared for the new General Data Protection Regulations which come into force on the 25th May 2018.  Howbeck Healthcare has responded and will shortly be launching its bespoke ‘GDPR package of support’ for GP practices.

The package of support will include the provision of a Data Protection Officer, all policies and procedures required to support in compliance along with training and support for Practice Managers. Additional support will also be included with assistance in the completion and uploading of evidence for the new Information Governance Toolkit.

For further information please contact us.


Howbeck Healthcare partners with Lantum to setup primary care access Hubs

Howbeck Healthcare has already successfully implemented 8 primary care access Hubs across the Federations it supports including South Cheshire and Vale Royal, North Staffordshire and more recently in East Staffordshire. Howbeck is now partnering with Lantum (previously known as Network Locum) as its preferred rota platform to further propel the rigorous project management and primary care expertise when it comes to setting up primary care access Hubs.

For further information please contact us.


iPlato Update

Dr Neil Paul of Howbeck Healthcare Ltd recently met with iPlato to hear about the ongoing development within iPlato.  The meeting covered their Roadmap and upcoming development works which include:

  • Patient submitted data being recorded in the care record
  • Refresh of iPlato SMS software
  • Video Consultation
  • Online Consultation / triage
  • myGP App developments including proxy access

Most practices in the SCVR GP Federation use iPlato’s 2 way SMS functionality and we have been trying to see how we can use this to gain QOF points. We are discussing promoting iPlato as the main app to access the GP record with.


Elemental Software – Social Prescribing Platform

Howbeck Met with Elemental Software who have created a social prescribing platform that makes it easier for social prescribing projects to monitor, track and support patients from the point of referral. This includes a patient portal, so they can keep track of the activities they are singed up to. We are investigating whether this works with our local preferred service called Alternative Solutions from Pathways CIC

Elemental Software are working with several social prescribing projects across the UK, view a range of their projects.

Their social prescribing platform has a number of features:

  • Health risk analysis: Helping patients to better understand their health risk and track their health risk status using validated monitoring tools.
  • Social Prescription Generator: Referring patients to a range of quality assured community based lifestyle interventions.
  • Attendance Tracker: Facilitates, tracks and measures attendance rates of patients across multiple community based lifestyle intervention providers.
  • Calendar System: Generates bookings with providers integrated with the patient’s personal calendar.
  • Health Impact Measurement: Tracks the patient’s health and wellbeing improvement journey in real time in line with their identified health risks.
  • Enhanced Directory of Services: Enables accredited providers to create and edit a database of venues, programmes and allocate appropriate facilitators.
  • Aggregate Reports: Provides accurate epidemiological information to facilitate greater reporting between Government departments, local authorities, private and community and voluntary organisations to benefit entire communities.

If you would like more information about Elemental Software please get in touch or visit the website.

View further information in relation to the Platform features.


Working at Scale Event

Mike Pyrah, Director of Howbeck Healthcare presented at the General Practice Working at Scale Event held on Thursday 7th December 2017 hosted by North Staffordshire Local Medical Committee and North Staffordshire GP Federation.  The event was well attended by GPs and Practice Managers from across Northern Staffordshire who were keen to hear of the approaches taken in other areas to tackle working at scale, as well as the plans for working at scale across their own Federation following a successful bid to secure funding for this project.  A range of ideas were presented focussing on services, back office functions and quality and the aim now is to work with practices to help them to identify and prioritise what they need and support them to make this a reality.

Working at Scale Event – Agenda
Working at Scale Event – Key Speakers