All posts by SimonDavies

One Care’s commitment to member practices

As part of its promise to general practice in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, One Care has started a campaign to make sure our member practices feel they are getting the best value for money from their GP federation.

The One Care promise was developed based on feedback from practices at One Care’s shareholder meetings in early 2022. Its aim is to support strong relationships between One Care and our member practices; enabling One Care to understand the issues practices face and make sure the services we provide help to address them.

Earlier this year, we launched our new service pages covering the support One Care offers for practices. We have also introduced the concept of locality account managers, who maintain relationships and support practices in our different locality areas.

We will be running a quarterly pulse survey to gather views about our services, which include questions on awareness, value, and potential future offers.

One Care is also running a series of webinars for practices, covering a variety of topics including understanding the General Practice Collaborative Board and the new Integrated Care System; practice business intelligence dashboards; finance; and the urgent care programme.

Ruth Taylor, One Care’s Chief Executive, said: “We want to provide the best value possible to our practices, so ensuring they know about the support One Care offers, and how to make use of it is the driving force behind the promise. That’s why the engagement reports are so important, as they show practices which services they’re making use of, and where there’s help available that they haven’t accessed yet.

“We always want to hear feedback about how we’re doing, so we’re really looking forward to getting the survey results and using that feedback to drive our future strategy and service offering.”

Voice of general practice strengthened as BrisDoc joins the GPCB

The General Practice Collaborative Board (GPCB) has welcomed BrisDoc as its newest voting member.

The GPCB is the established representative at-scale decision-making body for general practice in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), and is formally recognised as the “go to” place for the system to work and engage with general practice at scale.

Following the annual review of the GPCB’s terms of reference, the Board looked at its membership and invited BrisDoc to join.

BrisDoc joins representatives from the Primary Care Networks, the six GP localities, Avon Local Medical Committee, and One Care (the GP Federation) as members of the GPCB.

BrisDoc is an employee-owned social enterprise, which has been delivering NHS primary care services for over 20 years, including the Integrated Urgent Care Service for BNSSG. It also provides a number of GP practices and Bristol’s Homeless Health Service.

Dr Jon Hayes, Chair of the GPCB, said: “We’re delighted to welcome BrisDoc to full voting membership of the GPCB. Having BrisDoc as a member strengthens our role, as it enables us to properly represent both in and out of hours general practice in our area. It enables us to work more cohesively across 24/7 general practice for the benefit of our patients. We hope joining the GPCB will also strengthen BrisDoc’s voice in the local healthcare system.”

Dr Kathy Ryan, BrisDoc’s Medical Director, said: “BrisDoc is delighted to become a full voting member of the GPCB. Uniting the voice of 24/7 general practice in BNSSG will provide a strong platform for consolidation, development and innovation in primary care in the new Integrated Care System.”

One Care service helps practices save time on referrals

One Care’s Digital Support team has been helping practices across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire clean up their referral resources.

Since the introduction of a centrally managed document hub, Resource Publisher, in August 2021, many practices found they had old or duplicate referral forms stored on their systems.

To solve this problem, One Care began offering a form consolidation service to practices. The service sees One Care’s Digital Support team remotely accessing practices’ systems and archiving the out of date and duplicate forms.

Stephanie Hatton, One Care’s Digital Consultant said: “This service brings a lot of benefits for practices. It saves clinicians and administration staff time, ensuring they are only using the latest forms so they can be confident the referrals they send have the necessary information.

“Because we can do the work in the background, practices can keep using their systems as normal, and their administration staff can work on other things.

“So far, we’ve delivered the service to 30 of our practices, and the feedback has been positive. We’d love to help any other practices who’d like it.”

The consolidation service is available to all One Care practices in BNSSG as part of their subscription. If you would like to find out more, please contact digital@onecare.org.uk

 

 

 

General practice information campaign launches today

Your GP surgery team cares for you – that’s the message from our new public communication campaign, launching today.

The campaign aims to explain the changes in general practice in recent years, and what they mean for the public.

It showcases how GP surgeries continue to provide the same level of care they always have, and are working hard to ensure everyone receives the right support when they need it, whether that’s a face-to-face appointment, a phone consultation or a video call.

It also aims to highlight the range of healthcare professionals now based at local surgeries, including nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists, and physiotherapists. It explains their roles, what they can do for patients, and how they work as part of the general practice team.

The campaign is being run by One Care and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (BNSSG ICB).

Ruth Taylor, Chief Executive for One Care, said: “General practice has seen a number of significant changes recently, including the introduction of digital and online services, and the integration of different healthcare professionals into general practice.

“We want to help the public understand how their GP surgery team is here for them throughout their lives, and how their GP surgery provides them with proactive, personalised and convenient care.”

As well as activity across social and traditional media, the campaign features a microsite with information about the changes in general practice, and explanations about the roles of the different healthcare professionals patients may see at their GP surgery.

Later this month, campaign adverts featuring staff and patients from practices across BNSSG will start to appear on buses across the area.

For more information about the campaign, or to find out how you can support it, please email enquiries@onecare.org.uk.

New Integrated Care Board assumes responsibility for NHS in BNSSG

Today marks an exciting step in the provision of healthcare in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), as a new organisation takes responsibility for the day to day running of the NHS in the area.

Following the dissolution of BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the BNSSG Integrated Care Board (ICB) will now arrange the provision of NHS services, manage the NHS budget, and look after the health needs of the area’s population.

ICBs were legally established across England on 1 July 2022, while clinical commissioning groups were abolished.

In BNSSG, the ICB forms part of the area’s Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). The ICP is formed between the ICB and BNSSG’s three local authorities.

It brings together a broad range of partners – including the local voluntary sector and community groups – and sets strategy to meet the population’s health, care and wellbeing needs.

The Integrated Care Partnership and Integrated Care Board are key elements in the Integrated Care System (ICS) for BNSSG.

The ICS comprises 10 partner organisations, including the three local authorities, NHS trusts, the new ICB, and community and general practice healthcare providers. It is also known as the Healthier Together Partnership.

Although Healthier Together has been active as a partnership for some time, it now has legal status after the Health and Care Act 2022 formalised new arrangements to ensure ICSs become statutory entities from 1 July 2022.

The ICS partners are:

Senior representatives from these organisations have seats on the ICB board. General practice’s voting member will be Dr Jonathan Hayes, Chair of the GP Collaborative Board. Ruth Taylor, Chief Executive of One Care, will also attend in a non-voting capacity.

Within the ICS sit six locality partnerships. These operate on a smaller scale within the ICS, responding to the unique needs of their local populations.

The locality partnerships in BNSSG are South Gloucestershire, North and West Bristol, Inner City and East Bristol, South Bristol, Woodspring, and Weston, Worle and Villages. Locality partnerships include general practice, social care, community services, hospitals, voluntary sector, and mental health services – working alongside local people and communities to improve health and wellbeing.

One Care Chief Executive Ruth Taylor said: “This is a really exciting development. One Care and the GP Collaborative Board are looking forward to working more closely with our partners in the new ICS. We are excited to attend the first meeting of the Integrated Care Board today, ensuring effective general practice representation in leadership discussions.”

New app to boost staff sharing across BNSSG

One Care is working with health system partners on an exciting new project to improve collaborative working across primary and community care in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).

The project – known as the collaborative bank – will enable sharing of staff across primary and community care in BNSSG. It aims to increase workforce agility, reduce the need to use agency staff, and give staff the opportunity to develop their skills and experience across the BNSSG health and care system. It will also enable a collaborative approach to using our limited staff resources where they are most needed.

The process will be managed digitally through a web and phone-based app, which has been developed by a company called Ryalto. Ryalto has experience of running similar projects elsewhere in the country, although this is the first time such a project is being led by general practice.

Through the app, staff will be able to book shifts at other practices and in community care settings, in addition to their core place of work. Available shifts can be filtered by competency or by role to give as much flexibility, choice and opportunity as possible for both employers and staff.

It is hoped the system will reduce the need to use expensive agency staff, which will reduce costs for the employer. Additionally, the staff member’s pay rate will follow them into the alternative place of work and they will continue to be paid by their usual employer.

The project is currently in the customisation phase, with practices and other partners providing feedback about their local requirements to Ryalto.

This feedback will support Ryalto to tailor the app and its functionality to the needs of local staff and employers for the best results.

Jim Hodgson, One Care’s Programme Manager for urgent care, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Ryalto and colleagues from BNSSG primary and community care to develop this solution. As a health and care system, we need to address the 21st century workforce challenges we are now facing; it’s clear that 21st century technology will play a big role in solving these problems.”

One Care tool underpins successful cholesterol management pilot

One Care recently supported a successful collaborative pilot project alongside the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (UHBW) to identify patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) who could benefit from better lipid management.

CVD causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK and is the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas.

Reducing cholesterol through improved lipid management is a key way to address CVD. The project aimed to do this by making sure patients could be treated with the right medicines. In the pilot, these medicines included: High Intensity Statins (HIST), Ezetimibe, and PCSK9 inhibitors.  The NICE-approved lipid management clinical pathway has since been updated to also include Inclisiran and Bempedoic Acid.

To enable GPs to find the patients who would benefit most, One Care’s business intelligence and digital support teams developed and ran a CVD search tool. Over a year, they supported 10 practices across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to assess more than 149,000 patients and find those with existing CVD who had elevated lipid levels.

Using the tool, they then refined the data using criteria for PCSK9 inhibitor therapy – which treats very high cholesterol – to find eligible patients.

The pilot identified 444 patients who were eligible for medication reviews and referred seven of them to secondary care for PCSK9i therapy.

More broadly, primary care in BNSSG now has a sustainable, standardised way to improve the lipid management of high-risk CVD patients.

Colette Buckley, Head of Digital Support at One Care, said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to bring our digital expertise to the pilot. Delivering the tool has helped ensure  patients across our region are taking the most effective CVD medication, and provided a valuable pathway that can be used more widely in future. Enabling this kind of collaboration and helping to develop ways to help general practice and patients is at the heart of what we do.”

The pilot, led by Dr Paula Rostek, was part of the West of England Academic Health Science Network’s Rapid Uptake Products programme.

Clare Evans, Deputy Director of Service and System Transformation at the West of England AHSN said: “As a result of this pilot project, and the One Care tool, a sustainable pathway has been developed for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to optimise the lipid management of high-risk patients in primary care. This will support a standardised, evidence-based approach to manage those with established cardiovascular disease. Delivered alongside the pressures of the pandemic, the work of everybody involved is to be commended.”

Following the pilot, One Care will shortly launch the second phase of the tool. A second tool, to help identify patients who may have undiagnosed Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH), will also be offered. More information about these tools is available here.

Making Covid-19 vaccinations mobile to reach our local community

A blog by Joanna Ford from Network 4

Our Primary Care Network (PCN), known as Network 4, consists of nine GP sites in South Gloucestershire. We have been vaccinating patients from our Downend Health Group (Christchurch) site since December 2020, with thousands having passed through the doors. However, our patient data showed there were pockets of people in our area who were either totally unvaccinated or had not had their second doses. At Network 4, we know the community well and where to go to find people who might not have been vaccinated.

We know there are many reasons people may be unsure about getting vaccinated or having their first dose, including concerns about side effects; feeling that Covid-19 wouldn’t seriously affect them; or simply taking longer to decide whether to have the vaccine. We wanted to give people a chance to talk with us about their concerns.

We also know that working patterns and lack of transport were factors in limiting access to vaccination. So, we decided to take the show on the road – literally.

Our local Covid-19 Vaccination Programme’s outreach team offered us use of a St John’s Ambulance mobile vaccination clinic, and we began a series of pop-up outreach clinics in January 2022.

People power

Collaboration proved invaluable. South Gloucestershire Council and local businesses and organisations really got behind our efforts. With the help of the manager and staff at Longwell Green Leisure Centre, we advertised on their social media channels that we’d be popping up. And, unbeknown to us, a local school emailed their parents, which resulted in a 75% increase in vaccinations given on that day compared with our previous effort.

Other local organisations who got behind our community mobile vaccination effort include Morrisons in Fishponds, Asda Longwell Green, and Yate Shopping Centre. Sadly, our attempt to engage with the DIYers at B&Q was scuppered by Eunice…Storm Eunice, that is!

Major successes in the uptake of vaccinations came from having a presence in in supermarket car parks. Our ability to park up, engage with shoppers, and allow them to make their decision in their own time – usually have a chat, do their shop, come back to us and be vaccinated – was very helpful in giving people an opportunity to take up the vaccination offer.

Magnetic attraction

Although the ambulance was visible, it wasn’t clear we were offering vaccinations, and the pull-up banners we had kept blowing over in a slight breeze! The Vaccination Programme communications team solved this with magnetic signs for the sides of the ambulance, which improved engagement from the public, and markedly increased the number of vaccinations we delivered. You really couldn’t miss us in a car park!

Lessons learned

Making a vaccination clinic work on four wheels wasn’t without its challenges. This was a very different way for a PCN to work, and staffing and logistics were more complicated than we had imagined, but the impact we had on vaccinations in our community made it all worthwhile. We reached 337 members of the public who may not have been able, or wanted, to go to out of their way to a vaccination clinic. This included 33 first doses.

The feedback from the people we vaccinated was that they found it convenient, and the mobile clinic enabled them to get their vaccination while they were going about their daily business.

Was the clinic a success?

Vaccinating some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach members of our community wouldn’t have been possible without this approach. Staff members from our PCN were also able to engage with some of the misinformation surrounding the vaccine, which was incredibly useful in breaking down barriers, and keeping people safe from COVID-19.

Would we do it again?

Yes. Absolutely. Look out for us in a shopping centre near you during the summer. We look forward to meeting you.