31 March 2017
An innovative scheme to improve patients’ health, wellbeing and independence has made big strides in its first two years across Hampshire, with results and insights directly feeding into the plans for the future of the health service as set out by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens today.
Since the start of the Better Local Care programme in April 2015, the partnership between local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), GPs and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has:
· Reduced pressure on GP services in Gosport by setting up a primary care hub, which has been accessed by more than 17,000 patients. 63% of triage calls were dealt with over the telephone by a range of clinicians, freeing up GP time. The four GP practices involved in the services are now merging to form the Willow Group in order to further maximise the benefits of collaborative working.
· Saved an estimated 500 GP appointments a week at a time of unprecedented demand for primary care services by rolling out the eConsult scheme to 73 GP practices in the county. eConsult offers a suite of online healthcare options including self-help content, signposting, symptom-checkers and access to 111 clinicians.
· Helped ease pressure on A&E departments and reduced avoidable hospital admissions and 999 call-outs by teaming up with South Central Ambulance Service to offer paramedic home visiting and care home in-reach to help patients who would otherwise end up in hospital.
· Set up an award-winning Care Navigation project which guides frail and elderly people around local health and care services and prevents social isolation in the Eastleigh southern parishes – Hedge End, Botley, West End, Bursledon and Hamble. A similar Surgery Signposters scheme in Gosport, Fareham, Havant and Bordon is supporting patients from within GP practices.
· Developed Carousel Clinics in east Hampshire which bring hospital specialists into local GP practices to give patients with breathing problems and other conditions a one-stop shop, saving them time and trips to distant hospitals.
· Achieved Healthy New Town status for Whitehill and Bordon, including plans for a purpose-built health campus in a new town centre.
The Multi-Specialty Community Provider (MCP) now known in Hampshire as Better Local Care was established as one of 30 pilots in the UK to try out new ways of delivering care based on local needs. Initially involving three localities covering 27 GP practices in East Hampshire, Gosport and South West New Forest, a number of areas have joined the programme since.
Dr Barbara Rushton, the clinical lead for South Eastern Hampshire CCG, said: “The approach taken to Better Local Care has been different in each area – and is understandably at different stages of development.
“Better Local Care is tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the local population in each area and firmly embedded in primary care. With clinical leadership from local GPs, community and social care teams and patients are already seeing significant benefits.”
Heather Hauschild, Chief Officer at West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said “New models of care are vital to ensure that the NHS can not only sustain services but also improve them.
“Better Local Care has given us the chance to break down the barriers between different services and so improve the care we can give by tackling head-on some of the frustrations that patients feel about being passed from one NHS service to another, with little or no joined-up service delivery."
Chris Ash, Director of Strategy at Southern Health, said: “Better Local Care is about helping people access the right care, in the right place and time, as well as supporting people to better manage their own health. We’ve found that by improving the way local care teams and services work together we can make this happen and this has benefitted thousands of people across the county already.
“Over the next 12 months we’ll be focused on turning these exciting schemes into sustainable new services so even more people can benefit from high quality, easy-to-access care closer to home.”