A Bromley GP has been heralded as a "hidden hero" for his innovative work around flu vaccinations within 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 celebrate some of the excellent individuals and teams working locally.

Dr Essop, who has worked for South East London Clinical Commissioning Group as a clinical lead for IT and has worked as a GP in Bromley for many years, said he felt "overwhelmed and proud."

The Bromley GP developed a barcoded flu clinic system which helped support local south east London GP practices during the country's largest flu vaccination campaign in 2020.

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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, and allowed large cohort to be vaccinated in the midst of organisational change and public anxiety at the height of the pandemic.

Dr Essop also created easy to use resources shared online with GPs across the country, also offering advice and troubleshooting issues at local practices.

Implementing the system in Bromley contributed to the borough being one of the highest performers in London for delivery of the flu vaccination.

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Feedback from patients has been very positive.

One person said: “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."

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 private companies who are supporting General Practice during 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”.

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