Category Archives: News

One Care welcomes new board chair

One Care is delighted to announce Julia Ross as the new chair of its board of directors.

Julia’s NHS career spans more than three decades, with over 20 years spent at a senior level. She was Chief Executive of two clinical commissioning groups; first in North West Surrey, and latterly Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.

Since retiring in 2022, she has worked as an independent consultant, and served as a non-executive director for Pier Health.

She takes over from Dr Simon Bradley, who is retiring after five years as chair of One Care’s board.

One Care Chief Executive Officer Ruth Hughes said: “Julia has a wealth of experience in the healthcare sector, and knows the health landscape in BNSSG extremely well. She will be well known to many of our key stakeholders, and is perfectly placed to become the chair of our board. I look forward to working with her to build and develop One Care to provide the best possible service and representation for general practice in BNSSG.

“I’d like to thank Simon Bradley for his contribution to One Care’s development; his challenge to the organisation to think radically and at scale; and his dedication to the role of chair and his advocacy on behalf of general practice has been invaluable.”

Recruitment pool launched to ease hiring pressures for general practice

To help make staff recruitment easier and quicker for practices, the GP Collaborative Board (GPCB) workforce programme has launched a new recruitment pool.

In the recruitment pool on TeamNet, practice management staff will be able to view details of applicants who have previously applied to work in BNSSG, and were considered highly appointable by the interviewing practice.

Kerry Millar, workforce programme manager, said: “We know how challenging recruiting staff can be, and practices told us a shared pool of candidates would really help reduce the amount of time they have to spend on advertising jobs and interviewing. The pool will streamline the process.”

In the recruitment pool, practices will be able to:

  • see the applications/CVs and job descriptions for clinical and non-clinical candidates who have been interviewed by a BNSSG practice. The applicants were not successful, but considered by the practices who interviewed them as highly appointable
  • contact applicants directly to discuss any employment opportunities
  • see details of potential applicants who have expressed an interest in working in BNSSG, but have not been through an interview process

Kerry added: “The success of the pool relies on practices sharing the information of applicants they have interviewed but not appointed, so other practices can consider them. Luckily, sharing that information is quick and easy to do and helps everyone.”

To share candidates’ information:

  • practices will need to add a data sharing agreement (DSA) paragraph and tick box (available on TeamNet or from One Care) to their application form
  • candidates must have ticked the DSA box on their application form agreeing or declining consent to share their information
  • send the relevant candidate details to recruitment.pool@onecare.org.uk

Kerry said: “The pool is here to help ease recruitment pressure for general practice and we want to ensure it’s working well. We welcome any feedback and suggestions for improving it.”

Only practice management staff can access the recruitment pool and can find it by using the TeamNet search bar. Full guidance including the essential DSA wording and FAQs are available on the recruitment pool page.

For more information, to ask any questions, and to provide feedback please contact kerry.millar@onecare.org.uk

 

Choosing the right technology for your practice – One Care reviews

Free to all BNSSG practices, One Care’s technology reviews take the guess work out of buying decisions and help you choose the right digital products and suppliers.

Our digital team – working with the ICB and SCW – carries out thorough assessments of potential suppliers to ensure what they’re offering is safe, compatible, and useable. This includes new technology products, office equipment and software.

Morgan Daly, One Care’s digital transformation lead, said: “When investing in any technology, we’re here to help practices choose the right, effective product for their needs. So before taking the plunge, get in touch with us and we’ll do a full evaluation of any product you’re considering. Our reviews not only offer peace of mind but also save valuable time and resources.”

The team’s recent technology reviews have led to BNSSG practices introducing new programmes, including:

  • Emr+ which reduces admin time by automating letter writing and responses to SARs and similar
  • Optimise BP, an app to support self-management of hypertension, which reduces the number of clinical contacts needed
  • Automate’s robotic process automation tool, which files negative blood test results, saving significant admin time

Morgan added: “We’ve also reviewed a tool which is now providing a practice with access to NHS-trained remote receptionists who can take calls and deliver related admin work. This significantly reduced staffing pressures for the practice.

“Another successful review looked at a document management tool; and we supported the practice to negotiate a 25% reduction in costs.”

The technology reviews follow several steps:

  • we discuss with practices their digital plans and timescales and any potential suppliers they have in mind
  • One Care conducts an information governance, digital safety, and quality review with the supplier
  • The team produces a report for the practice, highlighting any remaining issues. All reports are also made available for other practices to read on TeamNet

Morgan said: “I’d urge practices considering any new IT equipment or programmes to get in touch as early in the buying process as possible. We can help them make smart buying decisions.”

Please contact us to talk about your technology plans: digital@onecare.org.uk

 

What One Care’s business intelligence team can do for you

We all know accurate data is at the heart of service and business decisions, and One Care’s business intelligence team is here to help with exactly that.

Working behind the scenes, our team helps practices, PCNs and local authorities use data to test the effectiveness of their services, and to target and improve patient care. Members of the team are all data experts and the information they provide is an essential future planning tool.

Each practice already has access to its own activity dashboard created by the team, which is updated regularly with key information about performance. But there are other ways practices can make use of the team’s expertise.

Harry Paul, One Care’s head of data, said: “Our experts are here to help practices make sense of their statistics. We’re always looking for new ways to help them extract the right data, and to use that data to shape the services they provide.

“We work with practices to see what’s needed. Often a problem encountered by an individual practice is also an issue for others, so we can work together to create a solution for all.”

A practice might, for example, want to examine data on specific patient cohorts. The team can pull the data for that cohort and demonstrate what interventions they’ve had and if they’re proving successful. Or a practice may want to examine its vaccination statistics so it can more effectively target future clinics.

Harry added: “More recently, we’ve been helping practices ensure they are correctly identifying appointment slots to make sure they’re paid correctly. And we will also be supporting the extended access initiative with a slot mapping exercise.”

On a wider scale, the team produces a monthly report for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) covering all aspects of general practice activity. The report includes about 1,200 different searches and the data shows everything from the number of patient contacts and prescriptions given across BNSSG, to how many blood and cholesterol tests were carried out. The report helps the ICB identify trends, and acts as a valuable prediction model.

The team is also working with the ICB and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) on the NHS mental health services data set, quantifying the volume and type of the workload undertaken by ARRS workers. And with South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council and the ICB on ARTIs (acute respiratory tract infections) – providing weekly reports on how many patients per age group have been diagnosed with a range of respiratory conditions.

In addition to regular reporting and ad hoc projects, the team is also involved in research projects with two UK universities looking at risk predictors, and effective diagnostics for a long-term condition.

Harry said: “The data work we offer saves practices time and money. If a practice has even just a vague idea of what it needs, I’d encourage them to get in touch so we can talk it through and come up with a solution.”

You can contact the team on: business.intelligence@onecare.org.uk

Delivering digital support for BNSSG general practice

One Care’s digital team had a busy 2023 successfully supporting practices across BNSSG.

The team offers a range of digital expertise to practices – from in-person EMIS and managed referral training, to help with day-to-day operational TeamNet issues. Last year the team completed just under 400 tasks for practices.

Bex Tilling, head of One Care’s digital support, said “Our team of specialists help practices with their digital issues, systems and programmes. We advise over phone and email, and visit practices for in-person discussions or training.”

Last year the team helped 43 practices with CareFlow Connect, and carried out a LARC audit for 23 practices. The team also trialled a new enhanced digital support initiative – 76% of practices have so far received hands-on support under the new plan, and nearly a quarter of practices have completed the team’s digital maturity survey, which helps them understand the gaps in their digital provision.

Additionally, the digital team last year developed a range of searches and protocols to help the working life of practices. The most used of these included the homeless health dietician template; cholesterol launcher; and diabetes protocol.

All practices were busy on TeamNet last year with an average of 2,566 users logging in each month, and the team provided in-person TeamNet training for nine practices.

Bex said “As well as helping with existing systems we’re also here to advise practices on the most appropriate new digital systems for their needs, and through our digital forum we share best practice among managers.”

Forty-two practices/PCNs​ have so far participated in the team’s digital forum, along with representatives from One Care, the ICB, the Training Hub, and CSU.

Bex added “We’ve had a really positive year of activity with practices. Digital systems are central to practice operations and management and we’re here to help practices improve their digital confidence and make sense of what’s out there.”

To discuss any digital needs please contact digital@onecare.org.uk

 

 

 

Introducing the new general practice activity data (GPAD) slot analysis tool

One Care’s business intelligence team, with support from Pier Health, has developed a new Excel tool to help practices accurately code their slots and ensure their data is in line with national guidance. This can increase funding for indicators linked to national slot categories like ACC-08.

Using the slot analysis tool, practices can see how all slots were mapped to national categories in previous months, giving them a clear visual overview of all slot allocations across their PCN for a period of time. Many slots were previously incorrectly mapped, which impacted practices’ income.

Harry Paul, data manager at One Care, said “We realised practices were finding the national dashboard complicated and regularly delayed in data provision. Consequently, slots were being mapped incorrectly meaning practices may not have been paid correctly for the work being done.

“Our new slot analysis tool reconciles what activity practices believe has taken place, with the activity that has actually taken place. It provides accurate and reliable data and we’d encourage all practices to use it. This development would not have been possible without One Care’s Kah Chan and Joe Smith at Pier Health.”

The new tool will:

  • ensure accurate retrospective slot coding
  • allow practices to check slots are mapped correctly to improve slot-linked payments
  • provide useful data for forward planning

Practices keen to find out more and to be given access to the analysis tool should contact business.intelligence@onecare.org.uk

 

One Care oversees first shifts booked through BNSSG’s collaborative bank

The collaborative bank project has hit an exciting milestone, with the first shifts filled and completed by a member of the bank.

The collaborative bank uses technology from Ryalto to enable practices to offer shifts to other local practice staff, and be matched with colleagues who have the necessary skills and experience to fill them.

Nine practices across BNSSG are taking part in the initial pilot stage. One Care is also recruiting additional staff to the bank itself, including care navigators and medical secretaries. This will increase the agility of their workforce, offering a way for participating practices to fill gaps in their workforce to meet their patients’ needs flexibly and quickly.

Michéle Powell, PCN Delivery Manager at Phoenix PCN, said “The collaborative bank and the Ryalto app are helping us transform how we deliver care to our patients. The additional capacity it offers will be a fantastic tool to help us tackle winter pressures.”

The Ryalto app is also being used to great success in Network 4 PCN to manage shifts for vaccination clinics, with nearly 2000 shifts booked.

Enhancing proactive care and population health through data analysis

One Care’s population health management (PHM) team uses data to better understand the health needs of the BNSSG patient population.

The team supports general practices to deliver targeted proactive care to specific patient groups, particularly those facing significant health disparities.

Phil Gladwin, population health analyst at One Care, worked closely with a Primary Care Network (PCN) in South Bristol to identify patients who would benefit most from personalised support.

Through analysis of health and social factors data and talking with practice clinicians, Phil identified patients with a combination of mental health issues, obesity, and diabetes who were at high risk of further ill health. Practices then contacted this group of patients to offer targeted evidence-based support.

In Yate and Frampton PCN, PHM Fellow Dr Brynn Bird developed a similar project with One Care’s PHM team.

NHS data shows spending on both diabetes care and antidepressants is significant – and has increased since before the Covid-19 pandemic – suggesting these are areas where greater support may be needed.

To identify the patient cohort with the greatest potential, the PHM team also considered other conditions including obesity and hypertension.

This data-driven approach enabled the PCN’s care coordinators to contact this patient group, inviting them for appointments and interventions designed to foster improved health outcomes.

Dr Bird said “We wanted to engage with people in the neighbourhood who are likely to suffer poor health in the long-term, due to their current mix of physical and mental health conditions and social circumstances. We were particularly interested in those who would not normally see us to help with their health, aiming to change the trajectory of their health and wellbeing.”

Providing this kind of support enables patients to better manage their health and wellbeing. The PHM service assists practices in identifying these patients, informing them about available services, and intervening before further complications develop.

Dr Bird added, “We are working with a variety of supportive people in the community, led by our health and wellbeing coach, to give those at high risk of poor health the support they need to make interventions in their own lives that are suitable for them. This is an ongoing process, and we are aiming to build on this with further presence in Yate where individuals can turn for guidance.”

These initiatives are just a few examples of how data analysis can focus healthcare provision to improve population health. If you are interested in discussing a population health management project, please email business.intelligence@onecare.org.uk.

One Care helps shape health and wellbeing support for BNSSG primary care

As part of One Care’s enhanced health and wellbeing programme, One Care programme lead Tailte Breffni and North Bristol Trust staff psychologist Dr Emma Lishman met optometry and general practice staff from BNSSG last month. 

The health and wellbeing programme is a nine-month project that aims to improve understanding of the health and wellbeing needs of staff across dentistry, community pharmacy, optometry, and general practice. It aims to engage with staff to shape effective, fit for purpose support. 

At the meeting, Tailte shared some of the project’s key findings, including results from a health and wellbeing survey completed by more than 500 primary care staff members across BNSSG.  

Dr. Lishman presented ‘Start Well, End Well’, an initiative that aims to facilitate team connections to improve staff health and wellbeing within healthcare settings.  

There were productive discussions about how teams can build positive connections, and how time can be found to do this in the face of pressures such as workload and staff shortages.  

The attendees also looked at ways to culturally shift how health and wellbeing is viewed in their organisations. For example, through practical changes such as regular breaks for patient facing staff and collaborating with leaders and managers to make health and wellbeing a common priority for all.  

Participants in the health and wellbeing project will be supported to use a health and wellbeing bursary to implement ideas into their organisation, and measure the effectiveness of their interventions. The results will be shared across primary care in BNSSG, helping to embed health and wellbeing in the area. 

More ideas to support staff health and wellbeing can be found in the June primary care health and wellbeing newsletter.

Contact health.wellbeing@onecare.org.uk if you work in a primary care organisation in BNSSG and would like to learn more about the programme. 

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.”