1. Dr Ishani Patel
Cancer and workforce trailblazer
Dr Ishani Patel is a GP who is going places. Across the capital, patients with cancer and suspected cancer are benefiting from improved care pathways, thanks in part to the dedication of this London GP.
Last year Dr Patel, who practises in Kilburn, north-west London, led the launch of a ‘cancer safety netting’ pilot across eight CCGs in the area – with the aim of preventing cancer and diagnosing more cases earlier.
The approach enables patients with vague symptoms or very early signs of cancer to be followed up in a timely manner. It also reduces the risk of patients slipping through gaps in the system while they await diagnosis, or for their symptoms to be otherwise explained.
Dr Patel led the implementation of the Once for London cancer safety netting steering group to guide the rollout of the pilot.
She is also working with RM Partners, the organisation delivering the national cancer vanguard across parts of London, to optimise referral systems, improve access to diagnostics and track patients.
However, it is not just in the clinical sphere where Dr Patel is making her mark. She is also helping to tackle regional workforce issues as cofounder of the online platform Lantum.
Lantum is a web-based desktop tool and iPhone app designed to help healthcare organisations to identify shifts that are hard to fill and to find qualified staff to cover them.
Dr Patel and Lantum’s co-founder Melissa Morris have set an ambitious target for the service: to save the NHS £1bn by cutting out locum agencies and their fees, and by freeing up resources.
Since its launch in 2012, she says, Lantum has generated savings of close to £10m – she says every hour of work booked through the platform saves the NHS around £10.
Now, Dr Patel is developing plans for Lantum to partner with 40 federations and a number of online consultation providers, to give GPs the opportunity to source different types of work.
On top of all this, Dr Patel this year toured the country teaching VTS trainees how to create portfolio careers, with her free #21stCenturyGP workshops.
In May, Asian Women of Achievement gave her the award for science and technology. And she still finds time to maintain her clinical practice in London.
What others say ‘It is amazing that she has time to give so much to all her roles, which are benefiting patients, her peers and the whole NHS’