All posts by SimonDavies

GPCB supports PCNs’ successful bid for additional ARI hub funding

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire successfully set up acute respiratory infection (ARI) hubs in January, after GP Collaborative Board (GPCB) support enabled them to bid for national funding. 

It followed an NHS England invitation for funding bids to set up ARI hubs, to address extra demand over the winter from patients with respiratory infections, including invasive Group A Strep in children.  

The hub model was based on the Covid vaccination model of flexible care across PCNs, meaning patients are cared for in the community. This approach allowed additional appointments and clinical resources to be dedicated to patients’ respiratory illnesses, reducing the impact on core practice services over winter.  

The mobilisation of general practice at scale across BNSSG, led by the GPCB, meant that BNSSG practices secured the full funding allocation for the area and established the hubs in a very short timeframe. This enabled 17,000 additional appointments to be offered between January and March.  

Funding was distributed based on PCN size, meaning equitable distribution among all PCNs. In future bids, the GPCB will explore how funding can be used to support practices in areas of deprivation to reduce health inequalities across BNSSG. 

An additional project from the same fund was run by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (UHBW) children’s emergency department. The GPCB worked collaboratively with UHBW to share best practice; understand differing models of care across primary and secondary care in detail; and coordinate the projects to provide optimal benefit to patients.  

 Jim Hodgson, GPCB programme manager for urgent care, said “With the support of the GPCB, we managed to bring in a significant amount of funding into BNSSG to support practices and patients during the winter months. We overcame the challenges of tight deadlines and difficulties in the model to support practices to provide great care for their patients. We look forward to building on the learning and value of this winter’s model, taking the learning and insights to develop an even more effective response next winter.” 

Introducing population health analysis support from One Care

One Care has launched a population health analyst support service, which aims to help primary care networks (PCNs) in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) gain better insights into the health needs of their populations and the inequalities experienced by different patient groups.

The team provide intelligent insight to support PCNs to design and deliver appropriate services and interventions to address the identified needs.

The population health analysts at One Care also work with the wider healthcare system in making effective decisions to support general practice and the health and wellbeing of the local population.

The analysts are working on several projects, including:

  • Dashboards to support locality ageing well programmes, showing the distribution, relationships and inequalities of various priority health areas across an area (including COPD, diabetes, heart failure). The dashboards visualise overall prevalence of conditions at each practice in the locality, while also breaking them down by age, deprivation and geography to show the most affected areas
  • Sharing priority patients lists for practices across BNSSG, based on clinical risk and amenability to benefit from targeted sets of appropriate interventions, for example: vaccinations; chronic disease reviews; advanced care plans; and cancer screening.
  • Reports on cardiovascular disease, its relationship with other long-term conditions, prescribing patterns, and patient activity within the practice, with a focus on prevention and identifying gaps in existing care
  • PCN reports and priority lists of patients suffering from a combination of long-term mental and physical health challenges, to support a personalised approach to care and continuity

Rhys Lewis, head of digital at One Care, said: “General practice has a unique role in understanding the underlying causes of ill health and supporting communities to address them and drive improvement. We encourage all PCNs to get in touch with One Care’s team to collaborate on turning data into meaningful intelligence to address population health and begin to tackle inequalities.”

Each PCN in BNSSG has a dedicated One Care analyst, who can be asked to investigate specific topics or areas where clinicians feel targeted work is needed. The team is available to meet with PCNs or practices that would like to know more or make use of the service. It can be contacted via email at business.intelligence@onecare.org.uk.

‘Meet Team GP’ launches today

One Care and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (BNSSG ICB) have launched a new public information campaign, called ‘Meet Team GP’.

The campaign introduces and explains the various professional healthcare roles working in general practice – what they are, what they do, and how they help get patients the right care at the right time.

It covers roles such as paramedics; first contact physiotherapists; clinical pharmacists; physician associates; care coordinators and more.

The aim is to improve public awareness and understanding of these roles, so patients will understand why they may be offered appointments with one of these healthcare professionals instead of a GP, and accept these appointments.

‘Meet Team GP’ uses photographs, quotes and videos featuring real practice staff from BNSSG explaining their roles. The video case studies explain some of the roles, and how they provide patient care, in more depth.

As well as advertising on social media platforms, the campaign has packs for practices to use, including digital screen images and posters for reception areas.

Learn more about the campaign on BNSSG ICB’s microsite.

One Care leads on wellbeing programme for primary care staff

One Care is leading a programme to support staff health and wellbeing across primary care disciplines in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). It is the first programme of its kind, working with organisations across dentistry, community pharmacy, optometry, and general practice.

Staff in primary care face mounting pressures, including: increasing workload; difficulty recruiting and retaining staff; and treating patients with increasingly complex needs. With the additional challenges of winter pressures, we need to look after ourselves and one another more than ever.

Despite its importance, many people working in healthcare don’t feel they have time to focus on their own health and wellbeing. Continuing on this path is unsustainable for most, and is likely to lead to increased burnout and sickness absence.

The BNSSG health and wellbeing programme aims to ensure all primary care staff have an equal opportunity to access support. Hosted by One Care, BNSSG’s GP federation, it is working with the Integrated Care System and the national NHS health and wellbeing team.

The programme has three schemes:

  • Collating and sharing all freely available health and wellbeing support, training, and resources with primary care colleagues.
  • A network of health and wellbeing ‘champions’, linked to a peer support network across primary care in BNSSG, to support with promoting health and wellbeing offers and initiatives to their colleagues.
  • An enhanced health and wellbeing project, working with primary care organisations to explore what health and wellbeing looks like for them, then working with them to embed meaningful health and wellbeing initiatives. This project offers participating organisations a £2,000 bursary.

So far, the programme has contacted primary care organisations across BNSSG to find out which individuals and organisations are interested in taking part. More than 30 organisations expressed interest, and welcome events were held in mid-December. These will run again in early January 2023.

Tailte Breffni, One Care’s health and wellbeing programme manager said “This is a great opportunity to understand the unique issues primary care organisations are having and what support is required, rather than assuming a ‘one size fits all’ package. We hope to use this information to inform the system and develop future health and wellbeing support for primary care.”

Contact health.wellbeing@onecare.org.uk if you are in a primary care organisation in BNSSG and would like to get involved in the programme.

GPCB outpatients group seeks to improve primary and secondary interface

The General Practice Collaborative Board (GPCB) was set up by all practices in BNSSG to represent the voice of general practice in system discussions and decision-making.

To ensure general practice is properly represented within Integrated Care System (ICS) programmes of work, the GPCB created its own infrastructure for general practice transformation programmes.

One of these programmes is outpatients. The GPCB set up a committee, bringing together GPs and practice managers from across BNSSG, to provide general practice input to the ICS outpatients programme. It is led by Dr Nicola McGuinness, clinical lead, and Ruth Hughes, programme manager, and works closely with the Avon LMC and the clinical lead for planned care at the Integrated Care Board.

The GPCB outpatients network is funded by the ICS, which allows general practice to be part of key discussions and decision-making in the same way as the acute trusts and Sirona. This is significant for general practice as it allows us both to influence the existing projects and raise our own at-scale issues at a system level to find solutions together.

This improves the relationships and interface between general practice and secondary care, which supports the new ways of working in an ICS: putting the patient in the centre and building support and services around them.

One of the successes of the group so far has been collecting feedback from staff in general practice about advice and guidance processes to bring into the system review of the service. This means the views of both primary and secondary care are brought into discussions about how to improve the service.

The network has also worked with the trusts and the Integrated Care Board to think about how data can be used to support understanding of waiting times for hospital appointments. Following these discussions, the trusts and the ICB are looking at how to ensure accurate, local data is available for clinicians referring into secondary care, and for patients who are waiting for their appointments. This is important to give patients a realistic expectation of wait times, and what they can do in the meantime to support their health.

Dr Nicola McGuinness, GP in North and West Bristol and clinical lead for this programme, said, “The GPCB outpatients network is key to ensuring general practice is represented in the wider ICS outpatients programme. Our successes so far show that involving general practice in system outpatients work ensures the patient experience at the community end of their care is represented.”

Working at One Care

Job adverts explain roles and responsibilities, salaries and key relationships, but they don’t always give a sense of what it’s like to work for a company or organisation, or where it fits into a bigger picture.

It’s an exciting time for One Care – we’re growing fast and are keen to have great people join us. So to help potential applicants get a snapshot of life at One Care, we have a new page on our website called ‘Working at One Care’.

It explains what One Care is, what we do, and how we play our part in the wider healthcare system in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.

It also shows how One Care’s values – ambition; trust; excellence; resilience; and compassion – sit at the heart of our work and form the basis of our organisational culture.

We pride ourselves on having a warm, welcoming and open company culture where staff are encouraged to share their views and make valuable contributions.

Finally, it covers the benefits One Care employees enjoy, including an NHS pension and discounts; great annual leave allowances; training opportunities and continuous professional development; free parking at our office; and hybrid and flexible working.

If you’re interested in working at One Care, please take a look at our current vacancies page.

One Care releases IIF tracking dashboard for primary care networks

One Care’s businesses intelligence team have developed a new dashboard to help general practice in BNSSG monitor progress against national targets from the Investment and Impact Fund (IIF).

The IIF is an incentive scheme that rewards primary care networks (PCNs) for delivering high quality care to patients, improving population health and delivering priority objectives from the NHS Long Term Plan.

It measures PCNs’ performance against a set of targets relating to health inequalities, personalised, preventative and anticipatory care, medicines optimisation, and environmental sustainability.

The One Care dashboard has been developed to help PCN managers and clinical leads track how their PCN is performing against these targets, and what level of income they can expect to receive as a result.

The team is also developing a practice-level dashboard, enable visibility of how each practice in a PCN is contributing.

Rhys Lewis, Head of Digital at One Care, said: “The PCN DES (of which IIF is part) is an important source of funding for general practice. A typical PCN in England could earn around £100,000 , so it’s important our PCNs have an easy way to see how they’re doing, and identify where the most cost-effective action can be taken to maximise this income.

“Feedback so far has been really positive. PCNs can see its value and understand what it can do for them. We’re currently developing the next iteration, which will help PCNs see where they can expect to be tracking towards the end of the financial year, and how their resources are best focussed to deliver the maximum benefit for their patients and maximise income.”

If you would like to know more about the dashboard, or have any feedback, please email business.intelligence@onecare.org.uk

GPCB sets out principles for working in BNSSG healthcare system

The General Practice Collaborative Board (GPCB) formed in 2020 to strengthen the voice of 24/7 general practice within Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucester (BNSSG).

The GPCB brings together all general practices within BNSSG, Avon Local Medical Committee and BrisDoc which provides the out-of-hours GP service. Hosted by One Care, the GP federation for BNSSG, the GPCB ensures the voice of general practice remains a ‘golden thread’ and is robustly represented within the new Integrated Care System (ICS).

The ICS was established on a statutory basis in July 2022, and brings together partners from health and social care, local authorities and the Integrated Care Board, which replaced the CCG in July 2022.

By bringing these partners together to work collaboratively, the ICS puts patients at the very heart of the system and builds services around their needs.

General practice is the bedrock for the health and care system, and deals with the majority of health interactions through multidisciplinary teams of GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical and non-clinical staff members working within surgeries. GP surgeries care for patients from cradle to grave, and are uniquely placed to build trusting relationships with their patients.

General practice involvement is therefore essential to the success of an integrated care system. The GPCB has developed some key principles around how general practice works within the Integrated Care System in BNSSG. These will enable general practice to act as an equal partner in our system partnership, and will lead to proper general practice engagement in decision-making across healthcare in our area.

The principles the GPCB works to are:

  • The GPCB is the go-to place for the system to engage with general practice
  • General practice at-scale work should be funded by the system
  • General practice should be involved in all system programmes from the outset
  • Each programme requires programme management, as well as clinical and non-clinical input
  • General practice engagement in system work will be prioritised in line with GPCB priorities

By following these principles, we ensure the expertise and experience of general practice is involved in any design of pathways and services. The principles also ensure voices are heard from across all general practice, the right expertise is found, and any progress made is shared back across all 76 practices in the area. We are working closely with our ICS partners to embed these new ways of working across everything we do in our system.

Dr Katrina Boutin, GP in Inner City and East Bristol and the Vice-Chair of the GPCB, said “Agreeing the principles of general practice engagement with our partners is an important step in partnership working in the new Integrated Care System. This is so we can ensure all partners are working consistently and collaboratively together to support our local populations, improve services and reduce inequalities.

Currently the GPCB is working within the system on several programmes: digital strategy; mass vaccinations; outpatients and urgent care. These programmes are steered by committees comprising clinical and non-clinical general practice representatives with a specialist interest in that area, and led by a clinical lead and programme manager.

These programmes are supported by One Care business intelligence, communications and digital expertise to enable change management within practices.

Successes to date include: coordinating the successful general practice aspect of the Covid vaccination programme; working with secondary care on outpatients processes to support the patient journey; and developing an urgent care strategy that supports patients being seen in the right place at the right time.

 

Making One Care a greener organisation

One Care is playing its part in the move towards net zero by taking steps to reduce its environmental impact.

One Care’s in-house green team looked at how the organisation uses resources including water, power and materials, and made recommendations on areas for improvement.

Some of the steps already in progress include reducing electricity usage by fitting energy-efficient LED lighting in the office; and automatically switching off power-hungry desktop computers at the end of the day, which can save up to 11 hours of electricity consumption.

One Care is also increasing the number of different waste types it recycles, making it easier for staff to recycle waste rather than throwing it away.

It has also eliminated the use of bottled water for meetings, instead providing carbon-zero water coolers and promoting the use of refillable drinking bottles.

One Care’s Green Team lead Harry Paul said: “It’s important we do as much as we can to minimise our environmental impact as a company. The steps we’ve already taken are quick wins that will immediately help reduce One Care’s impact on the environment. In the next few months, we’ll be looking at other, longer-term measures we can take to reduce it even further, such as renewable-only energy supply.”

New intelligence dashboards to support practices’ vaccine delivery

One Care has launched its 2022/23 winter vaccination dashboards, to help practices track progress delivering vaccinations to eligible groups.

There are two dashboards – one for Covid-19 autumn boosters and one for flu vaccinations – which will show practices and primary care networks (PCNs) how many vaccinations they’ve delivered each week.

The dashboards have been designed specifically for practice staff to quickly gain insight on progress through eligible cohorts.

All practices will be able to see their own data, and PCNs can also view each of their practices along with an aggregate view.

Practices can see the dashboards using this link and their unique practice / PCN login.

Rhys Lewis, Head of Digital at One Care, said: “This is the fourth dashboard we’ve set up to help general practices track how many of their patients they’ve vaccinated. It’s a service we started providing during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s something we know works well.

“The data in the dashboards can be broken down in several different ways, including patient ethnicity and index of multiple deprivation (IMD) group, which will help practices know which groups they may need to target in their patient communications.

“We hope they continue to be useful to our practices, and as ever we welcome any feedback on them so we can make improvements.”