HEALTH – “Cumbria Inspires” Lisa Drake Practice Manager


Let me share with you how lucky we are to live and work here…….

Hi, My name is Lisa and this is my first blog, so bear with me whilst I get the hang of things…

Would you like to see this view on your way to work each day? Well a number of us pass this & equally inspiring views way on our travels around Cumbria and I can tell you, on some mornings the scenery is breathtaking. We lost a couple of Locum GPs up this valley recently but thats a funny story for another day………😉

✨I’m inspired to write by many of the people involved in & supporting @WHIS #WorldHealthInnovationSummit and when Gareth asked if I’d like to write something – I thought ‘why not?’ Gareth, thank you for the opportunity, sorry I’ve taken so long!

You see, by nature I am a Sharer! It gets me into trouble sometimes 😳 but occasionally, I get to pass on the good things that have happened, to tell the stories that only a Practice Manager can tell and through Twitter, I get to connect with people who otherwise, I may never get to meet. This blog is going to share some of my favourite things this year but first, my favourite share of all.

I’ve had the great pleasure of helping an 88 year old gentleman to access his PSA test results online so that he can share them with his consultant when he next goes to hospital. The exchange was wonderful and made both of our days. His, because he could see his results and trend the progress he was making and mine, because I could see & feel his excitement at what the technology could do for him and I had helped this patient with something so relatively simple. As a retired Scientist, his brain is sharp, he is keen to learn and he has since thanked and congratulated us on making this happen for him. He is proud to take his records on his tablet to show his consultant. Thank you to EMIS Patient Access @ptaccesshelp for the technology and to @ingridbrindle and @amirhannan for inspiring us to do this for our patients. As many of you already know, Dr Hannan and his PPG Chair, Ingrid Brindle are passionate about #RecordsAccessAndUnderstanding and after watching you both speak at the Kings Fund, I realised how important it is for our practice to do this for patients. Our patient can now also arrange his appointments, order his (and his wife’s) medication, arrange telephone calls and see his letters. Why wouldn’t we want to do this? Small gain for the practice, huge potential for patients. I’m amazed that many practices can’t see this opportunity. Through the power of Twitter, together we made this happen, and this week our practice team & patients reps were fortunate to be visited by Amir, to hear first hand real experiences from Haughton Thornley Medical Centre @htmc0. This helped our team enormously to see the potential, Thank you Amir.

You see, I Love Twitter! I set up our practice Twitter account in October 2014 whilst the Cumbria team @CHoCCumbria, @CPFTNHS, @NorthCumbriaNHS, were at the BMJ Recruitment event trying to encourage clinicians to Cumbria. We had 1 enquiry about our vacancy, but I tell you it was far simpler to post on Twitter than set up (and pay for!) the BMJ advert that had returned nothing earlier in the year. We now have 421 followers and many have shared their experiences, wishes, conundrums, tales and most importantly, friends. We share hints & tips, blogs to read, images of our beautiful landscapes and cuddly sheep – the sort of stuff that makes you feel good about life.

We can even condense policy headlines into 140 characters! On twitter, we are all equal, no hierarchy, few rules and often an instant positive response. I’ve tweeted people that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet and now feel I can ask for advice as well as share what we are up to in the practice. I’ve been encouraged to try things, been asked how things are going in our practice and invited to share even more. I’ve seen GPs and Consultants share DM addresses so that quick communication, advice & guidance can take place. I’ve seen a string of posts share learning after a training event so that everyone in the room could benefit. Thank you to @DrBellyButton for sharing your CPD updates – I hope you don’t mind but I’ve shared these with our non-tweeting GPs and your notes were much more succinct than mine 🙂 I’m still a novice and perhaps some of you are too, but the people in the twitter community are some of the friendliest sharers I have met. I have even shared my limited @Fitbit progress.


You see, I live and work in a wonderful part of the country – Cumbria! I love it and I’m so glad that you will get to experience this area too when @HIC2016 happens in Cumbria next March. It sometimes feels like I work in the middle of nowhere and many GP practices and Health services in Cumbria are challenged by our geography and road networks. We work in communities that are dispersed; we have mountains in the middle and roads around the outside. Some of our A roads might be considered C roads in other parts of the U.K! We joke with @HawksheadGP that ‘Helidocs’ is the answer. Also, some parts of the County are still technologically challenged with poor connectivity and infrastructure, yet the desire to overcome this is evident. Thankyou to @NHScCumbriaCCG @eHealthCumbria @sarahkatenorman @TominCumbria @CumbriaRHF @UoC_CaCHeT & @khoojlyn for trying so hard to connect us digitally; I can highly recommend the monthly #CRHFchat. If you are coming to the summit, you will see & meet many of the people of Cumbria in action.


You see, I’m so glad that @RoyLilley is speaking – I know that he knows that much of the policy is designed by ‘urban dwellers’ so its our job to share the benefits of our rurality and advise the policy makers of the challenges. You may all be aware of the recruitment difficulties for GPs in the NHS, so here’s how our young Cumbrian GPs are putting Cumbria on the map, the #greatbritishconsultations photos are fab from @EastCumbriaGPTP @ DrIwanRF @DrRSingleton. Thank you, also to @jonathanleeNWEM for the great website in the South of the County, and @mastersmich in the North for . Soon, we will have choosewestcumbria as the @BritEnergyCoast and the new West Coast Medical Education Campus, @cjackson19Wcmec develops too.

Poster (9).jpg

You see, for those of you attending the summit, you have to know a little bit more about our County. My challenge to you all is to come with an interesting fact about Cumbria. I’m going to help you with an easy, if somewhat obscure one. The #WorldsBiggestLiar competition is held in the village of Santon (that’s in our patch) Which famous Uncle and Nephew have both won the competition -here’s a clue?

Not only is our twitter community in Cumbria growing, we continue to achieve national success. Congratulations and well done to the Millom Alliance team for winning the UK

Public Sector Communication Award @jendo41 @JohnHowarthNHS @CLHattersley @aliredshaw and friends, you deserve praise and its great to see this success shared through @FabNHSStuff. Also, well done to the #Bootle2020 team for their recent win as a #smallbutmighty project at the @Energyinstitute community initiative awards.

Finally, I’m sorry if I haven’t named you personally as I know there are lots of fab things happening and many more influencers in Cumbria – the list is growing and I’m sure you’ll get a mention throughout the year. I just wanted to say a big Thank You to two of the best networkers in the County, Glenys Marriott @cumpstonarchive and @GarethPresch. Your enthusiasm to get Cumbrians connected is infectious. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

There are many exciting things taking place in Cumbria, so surf around and plan yourself an extra day or two whilst your visiting us ……..#togetherweinspire





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s