Tag Archives: Covid-19

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 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 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.

‘We’re showing war time spirit’ with the Covid Vaccination Programme  

It’s one year to the day since the first Covid-19 vaccination was administered by a Primary Care Network (PCN) in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.  

In that time, NHS staff and volunteers have united across the country to deliver over 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, with more than 1.7 million coming from our local vaccination programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).  

There have been more than 5000 staff and volunteers involved in 53-GP run clinics, providing our local community with first, second and booster jabs.  

Eighty-one per cent of the BNSSG population, aged 12 and over, have now received their first dose, with a 108-year-old taking the crown for the oldest person to be vaccinated. 

In an interview with BBC Radio Bristol, Kingwood Health Centre’s Dr. Neil Kerfoot reflected on the past year saying: “In December we started to design how we would get vaccinations at pace into our population. There were lots of regular meetings and the staff were amazing – everyone came forward and offered to join us. We had volunteers coming out the woodwork, asking to help, and it was a real team effort.  

“In my Primary Care Network, we’ve done 60,000 vaccines now and it takes one-minute to input the vaccination on to the computer once it’s been administered. That’s 41 days of admin time our team has done in the last year so that we can keep track of who has had their vaccine.   

“To have over 80% of the population in Bristol vaccinated is amazing. There’s been some great work from staff in general practice, local pharmacists, community and outreach teams, along with the mass sites.” 

Kingswood Health Centre’s Practice Manager Robyn Clark added: “We often refer to it as our war effort. This is the closest to that war time spirit we’ve ever felt. We’ve all been working long hours in this combined effort to bring about an end to what has impacted so many lives for so long.” 

Care home residents were one of the first cohorts eligible to access Covid vaccinations and praising the work of the programme is 105-year-old Deerhurst care home resident Edna: “It is absolutely marvellous. All the carers around me are good – I don’t know how they work so hard. I’ve had my two jabs and booster and I was a lucky one. I felt so pleased. I’ve not had vaccinations before – it was different, but it was all soon done.” 

Claudia, who works at Deerhurst, followed up by saying: “The success of the vaccination programme has meant a lot more freedom. The residents were more protected, and we were able to look after residents in the same way, while wearing PPE.  

“We had the doctors come in and everyone was vaccinated. Because everyone was vaccinated at the same time, we could open up a little quicker and families could start to visit again.” 

With increasing numbers of confirmed Omicron cases across the country, vaccination is critical to bolster our defences against this new variant.  

Subsequently, our local NHS is working on plans to quickly scale up our Covid-19 vaccination programme, including through GP surgeries. 

Your GP surgery will be in touch very soon to offer you an appointment. Please do not contact your surgery about making a vaccination appointment before you hear from them. 

From today (Wednesday 15 December) everyone aged 18 and over can book a booster vaccine appointment online here.  

NHS England and the government have asked general practice to focus on vaccinations in the coming weeks. This may mean you will be waiting longer for non-urgent appointments and as always, practices will be working hard to prioritise those who are most in need. Please be kind and treat staff and volunteers with respect. 

Remember, vaccines are the best way to protect yourself, friends, and family from these dangerous viruses, so everyone aged 12 and over are urged to take up the vaccine.  

One year milestone for the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

8 December 2021: Today is the one-year anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccination to be given in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) at Southmead hospital. The milestone comes on the day that people aged over 40, along with frontline health and care staff and those in high risk groups, are able to have their life-saving Covid booster vaccination three months after their second dose, brought forward from six months.

Since 8 December 2020, our local vaccination programme has delivered 1,700,299 vaccinations, including 21,312 to our most vulnerable populations through our Maximising Uptake outreach programme. Our teams have worked tirelessly to vaccinate people against Covid-19 at 53 GP-run clinics, two large scale vaccination centres, 14 community pharmacy sites, three hospital clinics, in parks, in shops, at their place of work and in their homes.

Geeta Iyer, Clinical Lead for the BNSSG Vaccination Programme, said: “I am awed by the progress we have made in the Vaccination Programme in such a short space of time. In the past 12 months our programme has evolved from a highly clinical process with early vaccinations being administered in hospitals and GP surgeries to our position, today, with teams regularly vaccinating in workplaces, on the street and in community settings across BNSSG.

“It’s been quite a journey for everyone involved across our healthcare system and I want to say a huge ‘thank you’, on behalf of the BNSSG Vaccination Programme, to everyone who has been involved in this life-saving Programme. You really have made a difference.”

99-year-old Jack Vokes from North Somerset was the first person to receive his Covid-19 vaccination in BNSSG at Southmead hospital. One year on from being vaccinated, he said: “I can’t believe it’s been a year. I feel very lucky. I’d like to thank everyone involved very much for what they’re doing. God bless you all and have a very happy Christmas.”

With increasing numbers of confirmed Omicron cases across the country, vaccination is critical to bolster our defences against this new variant. Please have your first, second or booster jab, without delay. People can get their vaccine by booking online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119, at a local clinic (visit www.grabajab.net for details) and GP practices are also inviting those who are eligible.

To mark the anniversary, Dr. Neil Kerfoot and Practice Manager Robyn Clark from Kingswood Health Centre featured on BBC Radio Bristol this morning to discuss the past 12-months and highlight how well everyone has united to achieve such a high level of vaccinations.

Radio Bristol also caught up with 105-year-old care home resident Edna, who spoke about her experiences of getting her first and second vaccinations, along with her booster jab, and the positive difference they’ve made on her life.

You can listen back to the full show on BBC Sounds.

Accept your invitation to the flu vaccine

Our local NHS is encouraging the population to take up the flu vaccine this winter.

Following the interventions put in place for Covid-19, such as mask wearing, social distancing and restricted international travel, the cases of flu were extremely low globally in 2020 to 2021. As a result, fewer people are expected to be immune to flu between 2021 and 2022.

Projections indicate the 2021 to 2022 flu season could be 50 per cent larger than typically seen and it is also possible for people to suffer from flu earlier than usual.

Adding to the pressures already faced by the NHS, the coming winter will be the first in the UK when the flu virus (and other respiratory viruses) will exist alongside Covid-19, with there also being the possibility for both viruses to coincide.

Flu vaccinations are therefore an important priority to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the virus, and to reduce hospitalisations during a time when the NHS and social care may also be managing winter outbreaks of Covid-19.

Video credit to ITV West Country

The following groups are eligible to receive their flu vaccinations this year:

  • Carers – young or adult
  • Health and social care workers
  • Residential Care home staff
  • Household contact of those in the NHS shieled list and immunocompromised individuals
  • At risk school aged children
  • All 2-3 year olds
  • Any individuals in at-risk groups
  • Over-50s

If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, you may get it either from your own GP practice, once you are invited, or any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations.

For more information on the flu vaccination, click here.