Tag Archives: Mental Health

Get healthier this New Year

The Department of Health and Social Care have today (4 January) launched the latest instalment of the Better Health campaign to offer support and guidance to those working towards a healthier lifestyle.

Running until the end of March, the campaign looks to motivate and encourage adults across the nation to lose excess weight, eat healthier and get more active.

Better Health is working in partnership with 15 weight management and physical activity partners who are providing both free and discounted offers and the website will also signpost to local weight management support.

The new campaign highlights some of the benefits a healthier weight can have on an individual’s life:

  1. Decreased risk of common cancers (colon, liver, pancreas, kidney)
  2. Reduced risk of increased blood pressure
  3. Lowered risk of heart disease
  4. Less chance of developing diabetes
  5. Reduced strain from chronic back and joint pain
  6. Decreased risk of being hospitalised or becoming seriously ill with Covid-19

For more information and to get involved, visit the Better Health website to access a wealth of material on exercise, mental wellbeing and meal prep. The NHS weight loss plan and various fitness Apps are also available for free download.

Number of GP appointments rising across BNSSG

Patient contact with GPs in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) continues to increase.

Last week (8-12 November), there were a total of 112,031 appointments across the 77 general practices in BNSSG.

The number of patients to see a GP was 60,237, which is higher than at any point in 2018/19 or 2020. This equates to 54% of all the appointments that took place over the course of the week.

Meanwhile, there were 19,074 appointments with nurses (17% of total appointments) and a further 32,720 with other clinicians (29% of total appointments).

Click here to enlarge the graph.

GPs, their teams, and patients have faced an extremely challenging time during the pandemic and face-to-face contact has been limited across all NHS services to protect patients from the risk of infection.

As the data suggests, not everyone needs to be seen by a GP. All practices offer appointments with a range of other healthcare professionals, and this ensures patients see the right person for their condition as quickly as possible. The general practice team continues to grow, and practices may offer patients an appointment with a physiotherapist, mental health nurse or pharmacist, among others.

To view the latest data around telephone calls, urgent appointments and flu and mass vaccination programmes representing practices across BNSSG up to 12 November, click here.

Receptionists continue to be a key part of the practice team and the questions they ask are to ensure you are seen by the right person at the right time.

This week is national self-care week and doctors and pharmacists in BNSSG are encouraging people to get ‘self-care aware’ by practicing a healthy lifestyle and familiarising themselves with how to treat minor ailments and illnesses at home.

The national campaign aims to help people to better look after their own health – including self-treating very minor illnesses or injuries with help from pharmacists and the NHS website, taking steps to manage long-term health conditions and making healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising and eating well.

PCN mental health analytics project

One Care has been working with a Primary Care Network (PCN) over recent months to identify patients with an active mental health condition who might benefit from a tailored intervention.

The overall aim of the project is to improve outcomes for groups of patients with mental health troubles.

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 PCNs and system partners to understand how general practice can be supported to use data and analytics to get a better understanding of their population needs, highlight inequalities, and identify cohorts that would benefit from intervention.

One Care is delivering this mental health project to the unnamed PCN through a series of presentations and meetings, sharing an excel based tool and several reports produced using the system, R.

When comparing data from the PCN’s population between 2019 and 2021, as per the below graph, it’s clear to see the different percentage changes in patient activity for mental health (mh) and non-mental health cohorts.

January to March 2020 saw more patients across the two cohorts require medical attention in comparison to the same period in 2019, with the first lockdown reducing activity for both. But from June 2020 to present, there has been a substantial rise in activity for the mental health cohort.

To achieve the desired outcome, One Care identified all patients with active mental health conditions using clinically agreed code sets, before they were narrowed down further using demographic, social and health information.

The below graph is a visual representation for how data was used to agree a criteria to identify a cohort of patients from the PCN population that will benefit from a specific tailored intervention.

Having collated all the data, One Care is able to compare the group with the rest of the PCN population, highlighting how their health needs and health service utilisation differ.

One Care’s business intelligence team have begun to uncover and highlight how within patients with an active mental health condition there were some distinct groups and outliers that might benefit from specific intervention.

Applying these pre-identified criteria means One Care can provide a list of patients, alongside their health and demographic information, to PCN clinical leaders and managers. These clinicians can now review the list of patients and decide on suitable intervention, which One Care can support.

One Care offer a number of direct support services to our practices, PCNs and localities. Our analysts have access to local practice data which we present back to our practices through the General Practice Intelligence Dashboards. Our team can work with practice or PCN staff to analyse the data and turn it into intelligence, empowering practices to make decisions based on up-to-date information about activity in their practice.

One Care is working on a model of support to offer this service to more PCNs in the future, so if you would like to carry out a similar piece of work in your area, please contact rhys.lewis@onecare.org.uk.