Category Archives: News

One Care supports the ATHENA study

One Care is working with the University of Bristol, on their research project which looks at the use of AmiTritypline for the prevention of post-HErpetic NeuralgiA (ATHENA).

Shingles is caused by a virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. It can make people feel unwell, cause pain and a rash can follow. Some people can develop nerve pain months after the rash has gone, called post-herpetic neuralgia. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Oxford, Southampton and Warwick want to find out if taking a tablet called amitriptyline can prevent persistent pain.  

Amitriptyline is a drug. To find out if using amitriptyline when the rash first appears prevents pain later, the clinical trial is recruiting 846 patients, aged 50+ who have been diagnosed by their GP with shingles. These patients will take tablets nightly for 10 weeks – half will be given amitriptyline and the other half will get a placebo tablet. Questionnaires will then be used to find out what happens to everyone over the following 12 months, especially whether they still have pain related to shingles at 90 days.  

Invited to take part in the study are 120 practices across three clinical research network (CRNs) areas – CRN West of England (this includes Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire), CRN Wessex and CRN Thames Valley. 

One Care is providing digital support to this clinical trial in the form of EMIS resource and data extraction. One Care has worked closely with the research team at University of Bristol, to understand the ideal process for identifying eligible patients at a practice and inviting them to the study. 

This has led to the design of an EMIS protocol which automatically alerts a clinician that a patient may be suitable to take part in the ATHENA study. One Care has also designed an EMIS search to collect the data needed by the health economists to undertake analysis for this research. 

The EMIS resources designed mean practices do not have to design their own, and a standardised design means higher quality data can be gathered. With One Care managing data extractions, it also reduces administrative work for the practices.   

Speaking about One Care’s involvement with the study, One Care’s Head of Digital Support Colette Buckley said “We’re really excited to be supporting this important research project. It’s a great opportunity to work with our academic colleagues to explore improvements to patient care. This is the first of many research projects we will be supporting in 2022.” 

If you’d like to learn more about how One Care is supporting this study, please contact emis.optimisation@onecare.org.uk  or call 0117 941 0900. 

Medical Director for the GPCB announced

We are pleased to announce that Dr Geeta Iyer will be taking up the role of Medical Director for the GP Collaborative Board (GPCB) from 1 April 2022.

Geeta has been working closely with the GP Collaborative Board since its inception in her role as Clinical Lead for Primary Care Development for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) CCG and alongside her role as a GP at Gloucester Road Medical Centre. Geeta will continue in both these roles alongside her new GPCB position, which will mean she is uniquely placed to strengthen the GPCB’s working relationships with both the wider system and BNSSG practices.

Geeta will be working for the GPCB one day a week. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome to her new GP Collaborative Board role over the coming weeks and months.

Speaking about her appointment, Geeta said: “I’m really looking forward to working on behalf of the GP Collaborative Board to strengthen the relationships between general practice providers and our colleagues across the system. I’ll be working closely with the Chair, Vice-Chair and Board members to make sure the board truly understands and represents the views of our constituent practices. The GPCB has already established itself as the representative body for general practice in our developing Integrated Care System and we can build on this solid foundation over the coming years.”

Geeta’s initial priorities will be to coordinate general practice input to system planning for next year, offer clinical leadership for key areas of work in our ICB and support the role of the GP Collaborative Board in implementing the BNSSG Primary Care Strategy.

Missing GP information for vulnerable groups to be available in Connecting Care

One Care is working in partnership with Connecting Care to provide better integrated services and safer care for vulnerable groups in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).

 

General practice data is shared in Connecting Care via the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG), which collects data when a patient is fully registered to a surgery. This means there is a risk vital information is not captured about temporary registered patients and members of the BNSSG homeless community.

 

To help reduce the clinical risk and provide better care for these groups, Connecting Care proposed to work in collaboration with One Care on a digital solution using the EMIS-X Analytics platform (EXA).

 

This system is being piloted at the homeless health centre enabling information to be shared about temporary registered patients. This is a new way of working that will provide learning both locally and nationally.

 

EXA provides a database which contains a full and up to date copy of all the data held in EMIS general practice and community systems. The data is synchronized on a regular basis. One Care’s role is to extract the general practice data using data extraction queries, then import it into the data warehouse where it is formatted and transferred securely to Connecting Care.

 

The lack of information about temporary registered patients poses a clinical risk. By removing this, we can enable better and safer care for vulnerable groups, offer a more integrated services across different health and care teams and reduce duplication.

 

Rus Clark, One Care’s IT manager commented on the project saying: “One Care is proud to be part of such an important project. We are contributing to new ways of working that will have a positive and direct impact on our patients, which is what we are here to do.”

 

For further information on this project, please email onecare.governance@nhs.net.

One Care support for our practices: October-December 2021

We have published our latest quarterly round-up of strategic changes, information about new One Care projects and a one page infographic showing the direct support we’ve provided to practices.

The last three months have continued to present general practice with extreme challenges and pressures. The highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19 has driven unprecedented levels of infections globally, resulting in NHS England and the government asking general practice, along with the wider system, to focus on vaccinations and urgent care.

In mid-December, to support practices with their booster rollout targets, One Care staff temporarily stood down from normal duties to provide extra resourcing to practices. One Care staff offered their services to PCNs, helping with various administrative, marshalling and reception tasks. In total, 57 shifts were covered at 14 venues and the feedback we received from practices about our staff was fantastic. Similarly, members of the team enjoyed going into the surgeries and vaccination centres, meeting new people, gaining new experiences, and witnessing first-hand the demands of the booster programme.

Click here to enlarge infographic.

At the same time, One Care worked alongside NBT and VANS to create a more efficient process for PCNs and practices to request staff and volunteers for the mass vaccination programme. The newly-launched model sees One Care act as a single point of access for mass vaccination staffing requests rather than there being multiple avenues to request cover from, which often resulted in double bookings. This makes the process more efficient and time effective for general practice, staff, volunteers and system partners. This process was enabled by the staff sharing agreements One Care contributed to during the pandemic, which allow healthcare professionals to work across the different organisations in our region.

To help practices prepare for the potential impact of Omicron, One Care established an escalation framework to assist practices with a pragmatic checklist of operational considerations during the surge. To ensure general practice was well represented and involved in system decisions during this period of system pressure, we relaunched the SitRep to get a better understanding of the issues faced by practices. We used this information alongside the general practice activity report to represent general practice at all system bronze, silver and gold meetings.

It has been widely recognised that Covid-19, and the wider effects of the pandemic, have significantly impacted mental health, aggravating pre-existing conditions as well as affecting people who have not previously experienced poor mental health. One Care has been working with a PCN in South Bristol to identify patients with an active mental health condition who might benefit from a tailored intervention. The practice has provided us with great feedback about this piece of work, so please do get in touch if you would be interested in looking at something similar in your PCN.

Our business intelligence team have also added a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) dashboard to the General Practice Intelligence Dashboard. The dashboard shows what proportion of people on practices’ SMI register, who should receive a set of six physical health checks, have had each of the health checks and how many have had the full set. Easy access to this data supports practices to focus on where uptake of physical health checks can be improved, which will help maximise on available income and improve patient outcomes.

A key priority for One Care in recent months has seen the successful rollout of community phlebotomy – a new process for taking bloods in community settings. For many years, general practice has taken outpatient bloods on behalf of secondary care, despite not being contracted for the work. But the community phlebotomy programme has addressed the governance of this work, ensuring blood results are returned to the requester in secondary care and general practices are resourced for this programme.

One Care have further saved general practice time by creating, updating and sharing templates to the latest referral forms through Resource Publisher, meaning practices don’t need to maintain these templates themselves. To publish resources to a practice, technical data sharing agreements are needed. One Care now has these in place with 99 per cent of practices, as well as most PCNs and localities.

During this period, our subscription model for the next three years was signed off by our Board. We had intended to start meeting with PCNs in December to discuss this, but these meetings were postponed due to the booster programme and have been taking place throughout January and February. Many of you will have now responded to us regarding your intentions for next year. We’ve found these discussions really valuable and will be looking at how we can continue these discussions at more regular intervals moving forward.

We’re also inviting all practices to join us to hear about the work we’ve done throughout 2021/22 and our plans for 2022/23 onwards at our shareholder event on the afternoon of Thursday 28 April 2022. For now, please hold the date and we will share more details in due course.

We’re pleased to say that the One Care team has continued to grow in recent months in line with our development, and all current staff can be found on our website. In recent months, this has included particular growth of our project management capacity in our transformation team. As always, a huge thanks for your continued support. If you would me or a member of the team to visit your practice or attend a locality meeting to talk more about our work and how we can support you, please get in touch.

One Care helping practices benchmark telephony demand

One Care has updated the telephony information available to practices in their General Practice Intelligence Dashboard (GPID).

The dashboard enables practices to benchmark themselves against other anonymised practices in BNSSG on incoming and unanswered call volumes, as well as the overall percentage of calls unanswered. The data can be tracked and measured over a week, month, quarter and year.

Practices will be able to see where they sit in comparison to each other, including in relation to patient demand and how it is being dealt with (using a rate per 1,000 patients).

This information may inspire a deep dive into practice call volume and how calls are being handled. It could also highlight specific time frames where demand has increased or decreased.

One Care’s business intelligence support analyst Kelly Hawkes commented on the new dashboard saying: “The analytics teams are incredibly excited to launch this dashboard as it offers something to practices that previously they’ve been unable to see.

“Practices are inundated with calls on a daily basis and this dashboard enables them to track this data in line with other practices. This dashboard is available to all Bistech practices and PCNs that have provided consent for One Care to process their telephony data.

“We would encourage as many practices to utilise this dashboard as possible as it offers a further insight into their practice.”

If you would like more information on the dashboard and how to use it, please contact onecare.analytics@onecare.org.uk.

One Care supports practices with learning disability health checks

GP surgeries are required to deliver free health checks once a year to anyone aged 14 or over who is on their doctor’s learning disability register.

To help practices identify eligible patients, keep track of health check completion percentages, and visualise insights, One Care launched a dashboard in January 2022, using data exported from EMIS.

Going forward, practices will be able to use the dashboard and its useful features to keep a record of patient information and invite them for their annual health check when appropriate.

While the dashboard enables practices to calculate how many of their patients are eligible for these checks, and how many have been completed, there are other benefits too. Users can sort the data by a range of criteria, for example: ethnicity, deprivation, age and gender – which can highlight inequalities and where targeted support is most required. The dashboard also enables practices to compare different patient groups using the built-in filters, which will offer a greater overview of the BNSSG population and potentially inform future studies.

Speaking about the new dashboard, One Care’s Head of Business Intelligence Rhys Lewis, said: “People with learning disabilities have poorer physical and mental health than others and this has been particularly highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Annual health checks can improve their outcomes by spotting problems early, enabling appropriate treatment and management, and preventing premature and avoidable death.

“The learning disability dashboard provides clinicians and managers with up to date information on how many of their eligible patients have received a health check and how many are outstanding, ensuring maximum uptake by the end of the financial year.”

Eligible patients do not have to be ill to have their health check – in fact, most are well when they accept it. The annual health check can help patients stay well by talking to a doctor or other healthcare professional about their health and medication, and if any concerns are spotted, treatment can be administered before any condition worsens.

If you would like more information on the learning disability health check dashboard and how to use it, please contact onecare.analytics@onecare.org.uk. To learn more about these health checks, visit the NHS website.

One Care assist in NHS soup-and-shake diet

Over 2,000 people with Type 2 diabetes have now improved their health through the NHS Soups and Shakes diet programme – with participants losing an average of 13kg (over two stone) in three months.

From this month, the diet programme will be accessible in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) as NHS Soups and Shakes is rolled out across 11 more regions following the early and life-changing success.

In conjunction with the programme’s second wave rollout, 500 spaces are initially being made available for referrals in BNSSG over the next two years.

One Care have helped the mobilisation of this low-calorie diet pilot in BNSSG by supporting the planning of the project, communications, practice engagement and creating EMIS resources. This improves the process for practices identifying and contacting eligible patients to see if they would be interested in engaging with the programme.

One Care’s Project Manager Bex Tilling said: “This pilot has seen excellent results in other parts of the country so it’s really exciting to help practices offer this life changing programme to patients in BNSSG.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the programme grow and to be involved in such an exciting and worthwhile project has been really enjoyable.”

Helping people diagnosed with diabetes to lose weight, and make better decisions about their health through the NHS low calorie diet programme, enables them to better control their blood sugar levels. This reduces the need for diabetes-related medication and potentially achieving remission of their Type 2 diabetes when their levels return to a healthy range.

Early data from the NHS programme shows participants losing on average 7.2kg (over one stone) after one month, and 13.4kg (over two stone) after three months.

New data shows people on the programme who are eating and drinking the low calorie alternatives not only lose weight but keep it off over time. These real-world findings are a significant step forward and come after trials showed that around half of people who had similar weight loss were able to achieve remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, with treatment making up one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs. Projections also show that with the number of people being treated for diabetes continuing to grow – nearly 39,000 more people could suffer a heart attack in 2035, and over 50,000 could experience a stroke.

The year-long programme, which is fully supported and monitored by expert clinicians and coaches throughout, kickstarts weight loss through low calorie, diet replacement products such as shakes and soups for the first three months. After this, a carefully managed plan reintroduces healthy, nutritious food and participants can track their progress through virtual one-to-ones, group sessions and digital support – to help them maintain a healthier weight.

The NHS low calorie diet programme may be suitable for some adults aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the last six years and living with overweight or obesity who also meet other eligibility criteria.

If your PCN or practice would like more information on the programme or be able to refer patients to the low-calorie diet, please contact bnssg.lowcaloriedietpilot@nhs.net.

Improvements made to mass vaccination volunteering requests

One Care has been working alongside NBT and VANS to create a more efficient process for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and general practices to request staff and volunteers for the mass vaccination programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).

NBT, the lead employer for the vaccination programme, VANS, the lead voluntary organisation, and One Care have been working collaboratively and supporting each other to address staff shortage issues in relation to mass vaccination delivery within general practice.

When PCNs and practices have experienced vaccination staff shortages in the past, they would have multiple avenues to request cover from – a time consuming process which could result in double bookings and mis-communication due to the volume of responses.

But this newly-launched model sees One Care act as a single point of access for mass vaccination staffing requests, making the process more efficient and time effective for General Practice, staff, volunteers and system partners.

Bryony Campbell, One Care’s Assistant Director Transformation, said: “This new model that’s been set-up enables us to see all workforce requests across general practice for mass vaccination delivery.

“Having all requests in one place allows us to more effectively manage the peaks and troughs, work more closely with partners, but most importantly, practices have been asking for a single point of access to visit for workforce requests, which we have collaboratively produced.”

The new model was launched on 21 December, resulting in all necessary enquiries from PCNs – unless outside of office hours and required within the following 24 hours – being sent into One Care, who distribute requirements to NBT, VANS and any other part of the system, accordingly, depending on the nature of the request.

If you would like more information on the mass vaccination workforce coordination centre, please email pcnresourcesupport@onecare.org.uk.

Wellbeing service available for health and care staff

Clinical and non-clinical staff in general practice settings across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) can access a Healthier Together Support Network – a recently-launched health and wellbeing service for all NHS staff.  

As a result of the extraordinary pressure health professionals have been put under by the Covid-19 pandemic, national funding was awarded to set up a new confidential and free wellbeing service, which is there to help staff manage stress caused by or impacting their work, offering:

To learn more about the services, click here (Healthier Together Support Network) or call 0117 342 4740.

There is also a Team Net page with information regarding all wellbeing support available to general practice staff.

One Care support BNSSG practices with booster rollout

Some One Care staff have temporarily stood down from normal duties in recent weeks to provide extra resourcing for the accelerated booster programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). This support has been offered in addition to One Care’s usual role in coordinating elements of the PCN Covid-19 vaccination programme.

From the week commencing 13 December, staff have been offering their services to Primary Care Networks (PCNs), helping with various administrative, marshalling and reception tasks. To date, 56 shifts have been covered by One Care staff at 14 venues.

Eighty per cent of eligible patients have now received their booster jabs across BNSSG. Just shy of 200,000 vaccinations were given between 12 December 2021 – 4 January 2022, with more than half administered by PCNs.

One Care’s Chief Operating Officer Scott Godley, said: “It’s been fantastic seeing so many of our staff volunteer with the booster rollout programme.

“The feedback we’ve received from practices about our staff has been fantastic and similarly, members of the team have enjoyed going into the surgeries and vaccination centres, meeting new people, gaining new experiences, and witnessing first-hand the demands of the booster programme.”

“The vaccination figures are truly remarkable, particularly in the last few weeks, so a huge thank you and well done to everyone involved,” he continued.

“One Care will continue to make its staff available to volunteer at practices across BNSSG for the next couple of weeks, when it will then be reviewed, and I would encourage practices to take up the offer of support as it’s proven to make a positive difference.”

If your PCN would like to request additional help, please click here.

All adults are reminded they are eligible for their booster jabs, with 12-15 year olds able to receive their second doses.

If you’re yet to receive your first, second or booster vaccination, please visit grabajab.net or call 119. Vaccinations and boosters are the best way to protect you, your friends and family.