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GP consortia to police scheme to slash unplanned hospital admissions

By Ian Quinn

The Government has asked for volunteers from GP consortia to performance manage their peers on unscheduled hospital admissions and out-of-hours attendances.

The GP consortia will roll-out the flagship Urgent Care Clinical Dashboard, which will hold GPs in their area to account for their patients' A&E attendance, unscheduled admissions and hospital stays.

The plans, first revealed by Pulse in November, follow the success of an initial pilot in Bolton, which is said to have brought about major reductions in acute spending. The Department of Health has now announced a bid to find 10 GP consortia willing to trial the new system in their areas to tackle the NHS debt crisis.

The GPs' dashboard will present 'real-time' information on unscheduled care activity, including A&E attendances, emergency admissions and GP out-of-hours attendances, and where possible patient level data related to GP practice disease registers.

The Government claims it can slash unscheduled admissions by 20% and help hospitals cut length of stay by a quarter.

The call went out yesterday to find GPs and PCTs willing to become pioneers of the new system, in a joint letter from Sir John Oldham, national clinical lead from the QIPP programme and Dr Andrew Talbot, national clinical lead for urgent care, who has spearheaded the Bolton project.

However, documents made clear that the project was being rolled out with ‘limited funding', adding: ‘The project delivery will be the responsibility of the local NHS/PCT/GP consortia and there is no central funding available to provide local resources, hardware or software.

‘As a result it is expected that each pioneer project will need to confirm their own business cases and be able to provide the necessary resources and fund the development or procurement of the technology elements,' they said.

Emergency admissions