Hi there! It’s Penny here, with more news from the Primary Care Support Team at the System Integration Unit.
What a busy few weeks it’s been for me and my team! I expect you’ve all been quite busy too, but just a gentle reminder that we’re nearing the deadline for your winter planning submissions.
If you can remember to get your provisional returns in no later than 5pm next Friday, we can finalise the data collection methodology, send out the survey form and give you plenty of time to work on your final Neighbourhood Winter Plans. We don’t want a repeat of last year when some PCNs still hadn’t contributed to the Pandemic Winter Pressures Data Collection by March.
You will notice that the section on stationery and consumables resource allocations has been streamlined in line with the ICS’s commitment to reduce bureaucracy and grant greater autonomy to clinical directors. The smaller typeface means that it is now nearly three pages shorter. You said, we did.
My team will be in touch shortly to gather your ideas for new key metrics for the Local Improvement Matrix. We’ve already agreed the following important new schemes:
- Patient ratings for premises occasional celebratory enhancement (culturally appropriate festival decorations, eg for Diwali, Christmas, Pride Week)
- Community engagement for the vegan healthy lifestyles programme
- Post-pandemic practice book club and walking group re-registration
- Improving quality of life for people with limited access to social media
We are still in discussion with CDs and LMC representatives about the schemes for:
- Reduction in avoidable deaths from remote consultations
- Enhanced access and productivity targets
- Affordable referrals management performance incentives
So we’re making great progress, but as ever there is still more to do.
The big news in this issue is that the executive lead of the Sackwell & Binthorpe ICS, Helen Crumb, has been asked to lead a national review to improve general practice and out of hospital care. We have invited Helen to set out her vision for the review, what she hopes to achieve, and what difference her report will make by the time it appears, which could be as soon as this time next year (those of you who have worked with Helen will know that she doesn’t hang around!).
Statement by Helen Crumb
“I am excited and honoured to have been asked by Amanda Pritchard to lead this vitally important work to accelerate the ambitions of the long-term plan and drive the integration of primary, community and social care aspirations at a local level.
“I was a GP for several years before moving into a full-time commissioning role in 2007, which makes me uniquely qualified to understand the pressures that my clinical colleagues are under today. And, of course, I see many of you at our PCN Congress meetings, which we hope to start running face to face again next year.
“As a GP, I’m all too aware of the critical determinants of ill-feeling in primary care, which is why I’ll be talking about air quality, housing and the importance of daily exercise for children and not about contracts, service specifications, recruitment or workload.
“Like you, I understand that PCNs are crying out for examples of good practice and successful service models that demonstrate how PCNs can reduce pressure on primary care by reducing pressure on urgent and elective care services.
“I’d like to think that some of the inspiring examples we’ve already seen in Sackwell & Binthorpe might help systems across the rest of the country to emulate our success. I’m thinking particularly of our Barrier Triage scheme to divert traffic from hospitals to more appropriate primary care settings. By stationing GPs at the entrance to hospital car parks, we were able to reduce admissions, free up essential spaces and save patients the expense of avoidable parking charges.
“As a GP, I don’t want to anticipate the results of my review before all the evidence has been gathered, but I fully expect my proposals to include steps towards further integration, a call for increased collaboration, a renewed focus on relationship development and team working, a collective commitment to change, and better use of the latest IT innovations to share learning and spread good practice. I’m sure you’re as excited as I am to read the final report.
“I have been particularly encouraged to see PCNs start to consider how population health management approaches could potentially be discussed at local level, but this needs to be part of a wider, system-level conversation with the eventual aim of embedding population health management in everything we say.
“As Amanda said, in the email asking me to lead this work, this it too important to fail. It’s a demonstration of the pivotal role played by PCNs that Amanda asked me, a GP, to ‘carry the can’. I’ll be asking all of you to carry it with me in the coming weeks and months.”
Penny Stint is primary care enablement lead for the Primary Care Support and Strategic Integration Unit (PCSSIU) at the Sackwell & Binthorpe ICS. As told to Julian Patterson