Tag Archives: One Care

Supporting new practice staff

A popular programme One Care offers to practices across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) is new staff support.

Launched in April 2020, the new staff support programme consists of six one-hour meetings to new staff joining key roles in the practice – such as a practice manager, partner or lead nurse. These sessions are delivered by our practice support team (PST) and are designed to introduce One Care and the expertise we offer in business intelligence, practice finance, practice operations and more.

Furthermore, the team also offers expertise on working in general practice in BNSSG for those that are new to the area, or are new to the healthcare sector.

One Care have provided ten new staff support programmes to date and a further 15 are currently running across practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

A practice employee who completed the new staff support programme said: “Talking to the One Care experts about practice business, operational and finance management has really helped me to make sense of quite an overwhelming amount of information.”

As well as helping with many different aspects of running practices and offering mentor support to employees, these discussions help One Care to understand the reality and day to day challenges that practices are facing which helps inform and shape the services we offer.

Our One Care Senior Delivery Manager Linda Ruse (nee Buczek) said: “The new staff support programme is very popular and participants consistently tell us how worthwhile they find the support sessions.

“We monitor practice vacancies and contact practices when positions are filled to see if we can help.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to learn about the individual and their respective practice. We develop a positive and ongoing relationship with staff members to ensure One Care helps wherever it can.

“Our practice support team have supported all bar one practice and one PCN in BNSSG, providing more than 300 hours of time and expertise.

“It’s hugely satisfying to help an individual and practice with something they are unsure of, or need more of an insight into, so I would encourage practices to get in touch to see if we can help.”

The new staff support meetings can be virtual, or in-person. The frequency and agenda is very much led by the individual who often has a list of things to discuss. We can also update and answer questions on current BNSSG initiatives.

If you would like more information, please email practice.support@onecare.org.uk.

Resource Publisher improving efficiency

One Care is giving general practices access to the latest referral forms through Resource Publisher (RP).

One Care is responsible for ensuring standardised referral form templates are available to practices and kept up to date, saving time for individual practices as they don’t need to maintain these templates themselves.

RP is a piece of EMIS software, and as a publishing organisation, One Care uses this package to create, update, and share templates and protocols centrally with practices.

To publish resources to a practice, technical data sharing agreements (DSAs) are needed and in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), One Care have DSAs with 99 per cent of practices. One Care also has agreements that allows sharing to Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and each geographical locality.

Reflecting on this achievement, One Care’s Senior Digital Consultant Colette Buckley said: “We are delighted to have reached the milestone of having 99% of practices signed up to receive resources from One Care via Resource Publisher. This will enable us to share a wider range of EMIS resources to practices and PCNs across BNSSG in an efficient and standardised way.”

EMIS-friendly referral form templates are the most commonly published item. However, One Care also creates and shares data entry resources via RP to assist record codes correctly and efficiently, helping improve data quality in BNSSG.

For more information, visit the TeamNet page for RP.

Community Phlebotomy successfully rolled out

One Care has been involved in supporting general practice and system partners to develop a new process for taking bloods in community settings. 

Prior to the Covid pandemic, there were 18,000 bloods taken across general practice and acute outpatient departments every week via the North Bristol Trust (NBT) and University Hospital Bristol (UHB) labs, with additional bloods being done at Weston General Hospital.

For many years, general practice has taken outpatient bloods on behalf of secondary care (hospitals), taking responsibility for both the phlebotomy but also the interpretation, communication and risk holding associated with these blood results.

This has been a significant workload for practices, but they have not been contracted to do the work. It is beneficial for patients to have their bloods taken in general practice as it means they can access care closer to home.

The community phlebotomy programme – otherwise referred to as secondary care bloods – has sought to address the governance of this work, ensuring blood results are returned to the requester in secondary care and to properly resource general practice to deliver this service. Over the last year primary and secondary care have been working together, supported by the CCG, to establish a standard process for this, putting patient experience and safety at the heart of the programme. This collaborative approach saw general practice and the trusts working as equal partners in the design of this new way of working.

The community phlebotomy service was fully launched on 31 October after a soft launch on 1 July, which saw primary and secondary care all working to the same standard operating procedure. Primary and secondary care will continue to work together with the CCG in this new phase of the programme to ensure a smooth transition into this new way of system working and to scope out further potential for development.

One Care have been well placed to support practices in the programme’s development due to the trusted relationships already established with practices.

As an integral part of the working group, One Care was involved in the first aspects of building up the business case for the programme, including initial data collection to confirm phlebotomy volumes and negotiating an item of service fee so practices were sufficiently remunerated for the work.

Throughout the programme, which has supported the outpatient transformation in a clinically safe, understood, and funded way, One Care has provided support for practices, in the form of regular communications, training for practice staff, trouble-shooting issues practices are having and developing EMIS resources to support the programme.

The next steps will see One Care analyse the data being collected to monitor the numbers of secondary care bloods being done in primary care and develop a dashboard to present this information back to practices. This data will also be used to monitor the success of the programme and will highlight any areas for improvement.

GP Collaborative Board Coordinator Rosie Southwell said: “A huge thanks goes to Nicola McGuinness (GP Collaborative Board lead) and Geeta Iyer (CCG Primary Care Development Clinical lead) for their leadership in the programme.

“It’s been really inspiring to see how general practice can influence positive change in the system when we come together with one voice. This has been one of the first programmes of work driven forward by our newly formed GP Collaborative Board.

“Practices have been really supportive and engaged throughout the programme – the feedback we’ve received has been extremely encouraging.

“We have lots of learning to take forward into the future as partners across our system begin to work even more closely together in an Integrated Care system. This is a great example of what can be achieved when we work collaboratively to find a solution that works for our population.”

One Care support for our practices between July and September 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.

This year has continued to be extremely challenging and pressured for the NHS, including in general practice. In early August, One Care reinstated a situation reporting process which our practices could use to escalate any workforce and workload issues they were facing. This enabled One Care to contact practices in need of support throughout August and September, leading to several new guides and tools being published, including the development of the practice activity graphics in the General Practice Intelligence Dashboard.

Through One Care’s new staff support service, twenty-one new members of staff have had their induction to Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) general practice. This is a brilliant opportunity for those who are new to general practice or to the area to get a feel for the landscape they will be working in and to understand what One Care can offer to their practice or PCN.

Click to enlarge infographic

This year, we have provided a range of resources to support practices with managing flu season. This included EMIS searches and protocols, which were published earlier than in any previous year. We also launched the improved flu page in the General Practice Intelligence Dashboard. This year’s data will be updated twice a week and reports on additional cohorts aligned to the 21/22 Investment and Impact Fund indicators.

One of One Care’s key priorities for this financial year is to develop a longer-term subscription model for the organisation that is separate from improved access. We will move to this new model from April 2022. As part of this work, we need to identify current and future practice needs and the value that our members put on different elements of our offer. We started this work earlier in the year by looking at data from the last year around usage of our current services. In July, we met with a working group of practice representatives, who provided us with some initial feedback about what they value most now, and what they would like to see us develop moving forward.

More recently, we sent a survey to all practices to understand which of our services practices value most and how we should structure our subscription. The results will be used by the One Care board and executive team to inform our subscription offer for next year onwards.

There have been several changes within the One Care team in recent months. We appointment our new Medical Director Dr Mark O’Connor in August and some of our existing team members’ role titles have changed to better reflect the work that they and their teams are currently doing: Rhys Lewis is Head of Business Intelligence; Bryony Campbell is Assistant Director (Transformation); and Emma Goulden is Head of Marketing and Communications.

One Care has continued to offer support to the GP Collaborative Board. In July, the GPCB appointed their substantive Vice-Chair, Dr Katrina Boutin, who has now taken up this post. At the end of September, the GPCB announced the appointment of Dr Jonathan Hayes to the role of Chair. Jon will take up his post at the beginning of December. One Care has been offering project management and coordination support to the system-wide initiatives, such as community phlebotomy. Over the summer, this has included running training sessions and publishing additional guidance for all members of the practice team. We have also been part of several projects to support staffing in general practice (including for Covid-19 vaccinations). This has included setting up ten different staff sharing agreements to enable safe movement of staff between practices and other NHS organisations.

If you would like to learn more about One Care, how we work and how we can support your practice, please get in touch.

New data in General Practice Activity Report

In an exciting development, One Care has updated its existing General Practice Activity Report (GPAR) to include a further breakdown of the clinical and non-clinical activity happening in general practice each week.

Click to enlarge the graph.

One Care has been producing this report on a weekly basis since April 2021. The report is shared with our system partners, practices and with the public.


GPAR has now been upgraded to provide a more accurate representation of the work happening in general practice and the current pressures being faced.

Click to enlarge the graph.

Further developing the report will enable our system to move towards having a view of activity in general practice that is more like the data presented by other healthcare providers, such as hospitals and community providers, who are able to present rich data about their demand and capacity.

In the new format, clinician activity is now broken down by clinician type and lead time to give a greater understanding of the urgency and complexity of care delivered.

Click to enlarge the graph.

Telephony volumes have also been split to demonstrate incoming and outgoing calls, which highlights the increase in patient demand and telephone consultations. The data can also be compared to historical trends, to show change over time.

Click to enlarge the graph.

View the latest data representing practices across BNSSG up to 5 November here

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.

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.