A  PIONEERING doctor has received a prestigious international award.

Dr Amar Ahmed, a GP partner at Wilmslow Health Centre, has won the Zenith Health Award for innovation in healthcare.

The accolade recognises many innovative changes the GP has spearheaded both locally and nationally.

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His latest project is the Wilmslow triage system, a trailblazing, responsive way of helping patients contact their GP and find the right care they need at the right time.

Knutsford Guardian: Dr Amar Ahmed with the Zenith Global Health award for innovationDr Amar Ahmed with the Zenith Global Health award for innovation (Image: Supplied)

His system has been endorsed by the British Medical Association and is being used by many practices up and down the country.

It uses patient triage supplied by AccuRx as the online patient communication platform.

This new approach relies on the triaging skills of experienced GPs to prioritise resources according to clinical need as well as signpost patients to the most appropriate services.

The system has also enabled the practice to work toward implementing the BMA’s Safe Working in General Practice guidance.

This aims to provide patient appointments more flexibly, direct patients to the most appropriate provider of care and prioritise care for those most in need.

The Wilmslow Triage System has been featured as a case study for the BMA.

Feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive.

NHS digital statistics show that the practice delivered an extra 1,500 appointments last year compared with 2019.

In 2022, 63,000 appointments were provided, 93 per cent of them face-to-face.

A spokesman for Wilmslow Health Centre said: “The system is fast, smooth and reliable with minimum downtime and excellent user support.

“Patients prefer its simplicity and the ease with which submissions can be made to the surgery.

“Admin staff and triaging clinicians prefer the intuitive user interface and the ease with which submissions can be read and acted upon.”

Patients genuinely incapable of using the online form are still able to call the surgery to access care.

Receptionists complete the online form for the patient and the request is triaged along with other forms submitted by online users.

The practice says that wait times for appointments have fallen from what they used to be before the system was introduced On-call clinicians cover a morning session from 8am to 12 noon and afternoon period from 12 noon to 6.30pm.

They divers as many requests as appropriate to other locally commissioned services, such as physiotherapists and pharmacists.

The triaging clinician categorises requests requiring appointments in to red, amber and green.

Patients requiring red appointments are seen that session.

Amber slots are seen within one week and green appointments are for patients whose needs can wait until the next routine appointment.