Category Archives: News

Celebrating general practice vaccination delivery

Monday 15 February marked an important milestone in the delivery of the vaccination programme as we met national targets by vaccinating the top four priority groups as set out by government. We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the incredible work the practices and PCNs in BNSSG are doing, delivering around 70% of the vaccines across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.Please click the link for a full size image

We have therefore created this infographic to show just some of the figures that reflect the achievements of BNSSG between December and February. We hope the infographic helps demonstrate our celebration and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, administrative and support staff, managers, volunteers and everyone else too – it’s been a brilliant effort.

We all know there is still some way to go, but we hope that practices are able to take a moment to reflect and congratulate themselves on what they and their teams have been able to achieve in a short space of time.

Many thanks from all of us.

The beating heart of the vaccination programme

Delivering COVID-19 vaccinations in general practice in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire 

Shortly after the approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in December, delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations began in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The first sites to open nationally were 50 hospital hubs, including our own at Southmead Hospital. Locally, our intention has always been for general practice to play a key role in vaccinating our people and general practice sites were the next to start vaccinating. 

Practices were asked by NHS England to work together in small groups, known as Primary Care Networks, to vaccinate their patients. There are 18 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in BNSSG and all 18 of our PCNs have chosen to sign up to provide COVID-19 vaccines. 

The first of our Primary Care Network sites went live on 15 December and you may have seen the coverage on the local news about Muriel from Weston-super-mare, who was the first BNSSG patient to be vaccinated in general practice. There were four PCN sites who started vaccinating in that first wave – two in North Somerset, one in Bristol and one in South Gloucestershire. Before Christmas, a further nine PCN sites were able to start vaccinating their patients. 

The remaining PCNs all begin vaccinating their patients this week and next – meaning that by Friday 15 January, there will be 1established Primary Care Network vaccine centres across our patch (one PCN is delivering from two sites). Most PCN delivery centres in BNSSG are based at one of the member GP practice sites but we also have one running out of a community centre and one in an unused school building. To date, general practice through PCNs have delivered more than 90% of the vaccinations in BNSSG. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has stated that the initial priority groups for receiving the vaccine are the over 80s, care home residents and health and care staff. Due to challenges around moving the Pfizer vaccine, PCNs started by vaccinating those who were able to attend appointments at their vaccine centre – mainly the over 80s, as well as a small number of health and social care staff. Delivery to care home residents and staff has now started in many of our PCNs too, with brilliant progress being made. 

PCNs have done an incredible job to date and look forward to continuing to play an essential role in protecting people in BNSSG against COVID-19.  It is important to remember this is a marathon, not a sprint and that the last few weeks is just the beginning.  We are in a brilliant starting position in BNSSG, as each neighbourhood will have their own PCN vaccine centre by the end of next week. The government has shared some ambitious plans for vaccinating 13.9 million people by the end of February and our PCNs are eager to help make that happen. This does however depend on having access to sufficient additional workforce as well as a regular and trusted supply of vaccine and consumables. 

Everything achieved so far has only been possible thanks to a huge effort from all general practice and Primary Care Network staff to mobilise vaccine delivery within very short timescales. This has involved not just GPs, nurses and managers but also administrative teams, volunteers, car park marshals, security, practice pharmacists and support from local authorities. Many teams have delivered vaccine clinics over the weekend and over the course of long days. The response from patients has been incredible, many of whom have told their practices how grateful they are to be receiving their vaccine and finally seeing a route out of the difficulties of the pandemic. There is much more hard work to come but our PCNs in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are ready to do everything they can to help successfully deliver the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.

How we’ve developed our dashboards over the pandemic

In order to support general practice throughout the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly recognized that personal data and analytics could be invaluable for practices to help measure their demand, needs, and how they compare with other practices in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire. Therefore, we have recently launched a number of new features on the One Care General Practice Intelligence Dashboard (GPID).

Firstly, we created a flu monitoring page which enables practices to see what proportion of their total eligible population have been vaccinated to date and monitor update among more specific cohorts using the One Care flu searches taken from the local general practice booking system. 

 

In addition, we’ve also developed an OPEL status page. Operational Pressure and Escalation Levels (OPEL) are used by other providers in BNSSG to measure the stress, demand and pressure they’re facing. To date, there has been no consistent way to do this in general practice. By integrating primary care into the OPEL system, general practice will have a stronger voice in discussions about pressure in the BNSSG health and social care system, ensuring all partners can work together to manage and reduce its impact.

 

This information also provides you with a quantifiable measure of how busy you are, which you can use to let staff, patients, other practices, the CCG, LMC, NHSE and hospitals about the pressure you’re under and how long it is likely to last.

 

Lastly, we also worked to help general practice manage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed a COVID dashboard which provides info about the number of COVID cases in the practice, as well as other data on wider COVID-19 management. The dashboard is refreshed daily with data pulled from practices EMIS platform.

Our wonderful analytics team is always on hand to support practices and to also answer any questions others may have about what we can do to support healthcare and population health analytics across the country. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with onecare.analytics@onecare.org.uk.

Welcome to our new website!

We’d like to welcome you to our newly updated website! We’ve worked hard to update all of our old content to better reflect how we work, and how you can access support from us.

On the new ‘What we do’ page, you can now explore the range of services we offer to our practices, PCNs and localities – covering a range of areas including digital, business intelligence and practice management. You can also find out more on our wider support we offer across the UK.

On the ‘Our story’ page, you can read about the journey One Care has had so far – starting in 2014 following a successful bid with the GP Access Fund – initially known as the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.

Lastly, don’t forget to have a look at our new ‘Meet the team’ page! There, you can ‘meet’ us all and – particularly in a time when so many of us are working remotely due to COVID-19 – you can hopefully put a face to a name you may already work with now!

We hope you enjoy exploring our new site and we’re always keen to receive feedback on how we can make it better. If you have any ideas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

We are now a Community Interest Company!

Following a formal vote at our recent Shareholders’ Meeting, we are happy to announce that One Care has now officially converted to a Community Interest Company (CIC). We chose to convert primarily to improve our success rate when seeking to win NHS contracts and to open doors when engaging with the wider NHS system. In addition, we believe that this change better reflects who we are and what we do as a federation, representing BNSSG general practices and bringing benefit to our local communities.

What is a Community Interest Company?

A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a special form of a non-charitable limited company, which exists primarily to benefit a community or pursue a social purpose, rather than to make a profit for shareholders.

Although One Care has initially set up as a limited company (with BNSSG practices as our shareholders), we have committed not to pay dividends to shareholders. Instead, we reinvest any profits back to general practice in BNSSG. This is fundamental to our and BNSSG practices’ principles and, as such, CIC status is a perfect fit. For these reasons, a number of other GP Federations and similar organisations have converted to CIC status.

What was the process for converting to a CIC?

Having reviewed the benefits, the One Care Board – with representatives from practices across BNSSG – recommended to our shareholders that we convert to a CIC. In order to do this:

  • a special resolution was put to all practics to be voted on
  • 51% of practice needed to vote in order for it to be valid
  • more than 75% of those who voted were in favour, so the resolution was passed

Once the resolution was passed, we applied to become a CIC, submitting an application form (CIC37) to Companies House stating our company’s aims and why its activities would benefit the community. Our application has now been accepted.

If you have any further questions about what is means for One Care to become a CIC, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Help shape the Primary Care Strategy

We are seeking feedback and comments from BNSSG patients to update and deliver Healthier Together’s Primary Care Strategy.

Our renewed Primary Care Strategy will set out the transformation of Primary Care services, which includes dentistry, optometry and community pharmacy, with general practice at the heart. As more and more care shifts out of hospital into the community, it is important that those commissioning the care, delivering the care and experiencing the care all share the same vision and understanding of Primary Care.

Please go to bnssgccg.nhs.uk/pcs-survey to take part!!

Our services to practices, primary care networks and localities

Over the past couple of months, and building on the feedback practices gave us at our shareholder event last November, we have been working with many of you to develop our One Care offer to practices, PCNs and localities.

By clicking on the image below, you will find a copy of our offer to practices. To align with this release, we have also updated our One Care portal hosted by Clarity TeamNet. The link to our portal can be found in the top right-hand corner on our site.

Finally, this website is currently under construction to reflect our new services so watch this space for more!!

Thank you John!

At our Board meeting yesterday, we officially said goodbye and a huge thank you to our outgoing Chair John Heather, who has been a fantastic advocate for One Care over the last few years. Thankfully, we will keep John’s wealth of experience and knowledge as he will remain as a member of our Board representing the Weston locality.

We thanked him with a big cake and card signed by all the other members of the Board – see the photos on Twitter.

As announced earlier in February, Simon Bradley has been elected as our new Independent Chair.

Reducing GP paperwork through workflow optimisation training

GP paperwork has been on the rise for a number of years, which was recognised as one of the key issues for general practice in the GP Forward View. As a result of this, all practices were offered funding to attend training to help with their document management processes. In July 2017, we began working with EPI, a local training provider, to offer workflow optimisation training sessions to our practices. The project has recently come to an end, so we have been working on an evaluation of how successful it has been.  The aims of this project were to:

  • Provide consistent and high-quality Workflow Optimisation training to BNSSG practices
  • Increase efficiency in practice and release clinical capacity
  • Reduce the administrative burden on clinical staff
  • Upskill administrative practice staff

The training was provided to 167 members of practice staff from 58 practices (around 70% of all One Care practices). We measured the success of these sessions by giving attendees a feedback form. It was very well-received and rated highly by practices:

Well led and run, very experienced GP knowledge in implementing and working with the system”.

99.3% of attendees said they would recommend the seminar to colleagues and 81.4% said the training was excellent (18.6% said good).  In 2018, we worked with Hanham Health to create a case study about their experience of the training and experience of implementing their learnings in practice.

We did encounter some challenges in delivering this training programme. Often practices found it difficult to spare appropriate staff members to attend. Also, it was difficult to measure how effectively the training has been implemented in practices without doing more follow up, which means in many cases we are not sure to what degree it has increased efficiency and released clinical capacity. We will be looking to carry out some follow up work over the coming months.

If you’re keen to find out more, or read the full evaluation, get in touch.

 

New independent chair appointed to our board

Following a competitive recruitment process, the Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Simon Bradley as our new Independent Chair with immediate effect. Simon replaces Dr John Heather who resigned at the end of last year. The Board would like to thank John for all his hard work and dedication to the role and we are delighted that he will remain as a member of the Board representing the Weston Locality Board.

This independent GP leadership role is new in our governance structure. It’s different to our previous Chair role, as we wanted to recruit someone who is a GP in a BNSSG practice but not a member of a locality board or has a role in the governance of any other organisation. The purpose of this role will be to be an advocate for general practice and to work with Ruth Taylor and the Exec Team to ensure that One Care continues to understand and meet the needs of its shareholder practices.