GP ACCESS FUND
This fund is to support better access to general practice for the public, and to enable CCGs to commission and fund extra capacity to ensure that everyone has access to GP services, including sufficient routine and same day appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand, alongside effective access to other primary care and general practice services such as urgent care services.
£138m recurrent funding in 2017/18, £258 recurrent funding in 2018/19, rising to £500m by 2020/21.
Early Visiting Service The Early Visiting Service (EVS) is made up of a team of emergency care clinicians who will work closely with GP practices to provide home visits to the elderly and housebound.
Neighbourhood Access Hubs Neighbourhood Access Hubs provide same-day (or in some areas weekend) urgent appointments for patients as an alternative to an appointment at their own GP surgery. This service helps GP practices meet the increasing demand for urgent appointments and enables GPs more time for planned care. A Neighbourhood Access Hub is not a ‘Walk-in Centre’ – you must be referred by your own GP practice for an appointment. This service is in the preparation stage at the moment, and more information about start dates and exact locations of the hubs will be made available over the coming months.
GPs in Oxfordshire awarded funding for pilots to enhance primary care for patients
March 27, 2015
GPs in Oxfordshire have today been awarded national funding to trial different ways of offering more primary care services to patients.
Across the county GPs have come together into three federations* and are working jointly to develop a number of initiatives to enhance primary care services in the county and test which pilot projects will best improve patient care and keep people out of hospital. Today, those plans have received national recognition as the newly formed GP federations have been awarded funding with the go ahead to launch their pilot projects, see below.
The funding awarded amounts to £4.9m and will enable the three Oxfordshire GP federations to test four pilots in the county over the next year, including; Neighbourhood Access Hubs; Home Visiting Teams; Care Navigators; and an online project offering Email Consultations and a Local Health Website.
The projects are designed to enable primary care practitioners to meet the different health care needs of people in Oxfordshire. It is estimated through these measures an additional 70,000 appointments, consultations or assessments will be offered each year and 1,000 hospital admissions and 3,000 A&E visits will be avoided.
Dr Joe McManners, Clinical Chair of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said;
“We welcome this national recognition of our ambition in Oxfordshire to be at the forefront of developing health services for the benefit of our patients. The funding also provides some much needed extra resource for primary care. We are committed to working with and supporting clinicians and partners locally to help patients get early access to health advice. These initiatives will offer local patients greater flexibility and easier access to health care advice and appointments. We will be working with GPs locally to monitor the success of these projects and to investigate opportunities to develop and share the best across the county.”
•Neighbourhood Access Hubs
Patients who need a same day urgent appointment with a GP or nurse, but are unable to get one at their GP practice, will be offered one at a local healthcare facility with a local GP or nurse who will also have access to their medical records. Twenty minute appointments will also be offered for patients with more complex conditions.
This pilot will run initially in Banbury, Bicester, Witney and their surrounding villages before being expanded to other areas around the county.
In other parts of the county, there are also plans to create Skype-type links to care and nursing homes and even to patients’ homes. This technology will be trialled in a few settings potentially in Bicester, Banbury and Witney before being rolled out across a wider area.
•Home Visiting Teams
These teams will respond to requests for urgent same day home visits from older patients, or patients with more severe conditions or their carers. Patients will be seen by emergency care practitioners in the morning to identify early support for patients. This service will also offer greater support to patients in both their own homes and those in care homes.
This pilot will be run in Banbury, Bicester, Witney and their surrounding villages and Oxford. Later it may be expanded to a wider population.
GP practices in Oxford will work with staff in hospitals and social care to offer better, joined up care for the two per cent of patients registered with city practices with the most complex conditions. Care Navigators will co-ordinate support for these patients and liaise with their GPs, families and carers in practices and in patient’s homes to ensure care is proactive. This pilot will run in all GP practices in Oxford.
GPs in two practices in Abingdon, Abingdon and Malthouse Surgeries will offer patients urgent appointments by email outside of practice opening hours, including; early morning, early evening and Saturday mornings. Alongside the new urgent service outside of opening hours, they will also introduce a routine in hours email consultation service.
The email consultation pilot has the potential to be expanded to other practices.
•Local Health Website
Abingdon and Malthouse surgeries will develop a website with health advice to enable people to gain a greater understanding of how they can look after themselves with healthy life-style choices or manage their care if they have a complex condition. The website will be a localised site and will include self-help guides for managing chronic conditions, a symptom checker and a comprehensive directory signposting people to local support groups and services.
Extra support will be offered by a care navigator who will be available in each practice to develop patients’ understanding of their health condition and steer them to support services available locally in the community.
The pilot projects target populations in the county that need greater health care support, respond to demand for more out of hospital urgent care and offer further options for patients to get health care advice and take greater responsibility for managing their care.
At the end of the year, the pilot projects will be evaluated and savings analysed by GPs and commissioners before decisions on whether to implement the pilots are taken.