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A PCN that cut hospital admissions by 44%, saving around half a million pounds for its system has been named PCN of the Year at the annual GP Awards.
The award sought to recognise a PCN that has developed mature relationships between its practices and with services beyond general practice, to the benefit of their patient population.
The judges named Norwich PCN the winner for a number of initiatives, notably its Integrated Motivational Proactive Anticipatory Care Team (IMPACT) which has reduced hospital admissions by 44% and saving around £493,000 by creating more than 620 personalised care plans.
Its IMPACT team also reduced A&E attendances by 23%, saving £52,000, and saw a significant decrease in the number of patients reporting problems with anxiety and depression (9%), with pain and discomfort (8.9%) and with self-care activities (8.8%).
Dr Jeanine Smirl, clinical lead for the PCN, said: ‘We are overjoyed to win. Our PCN covers the whole of Norwich city because we didn’t want to be divided up. That was important to us, our motto is “One Norwich, one City.”
‘Our organisation is large enough that we can make an impact. We work as a cohesive team with the support of all our practices. And so we’ve been forward thinking about social prescribing and tackling health inequalities, really trying to make a difference on these fronts.’
Norwich PCN – which employs more than 200 staff – was also recognised for its GP Front Door service which reduced footfall in emergency departments, seeing 14,000 patients; and its Improved Access Service which has provided more than 93,000 telephone or face-to-face appointments, greatly reducing pressure on the practices.
And in addition to contributing to the social prescribing Investment and Impact Fund indicator, the PCN’s social prescribers have assisted in anticipatory and personalised care, and toward QOF targets.
The PCN estimated that this has delivered £5m in savings to the local system per year, and created ‘a solid foundation’ to introduce and develop the primary care community officer role.
This year’s event on Friday in Hammersmith, London marks the 15th anniversary of the GP awards which is produced in partnership with Pulse and its sister publications.