General Practice Forward View
Dr Richard Horsley April 2019
General practice is changing. Over the next 5 years primary care will undergo possibly the most important GP contract changes since the NHS foundation in 1948. This process began in 2016 with the publication of the General Practice Forward View https://www.england.nhs.uk/gp/gpfv/ (GPFV)
Working at scale
The practice recognises that some patients find it hard to attend when they have work commitments. Since 2018 we offer appointments via ‘extended access’ which means Balsall Common and Meriden patients now can book GP and nurse appointments Monday to Friday from 18.30 until 20.00 and weekend mornings in our extended access ‘hub’ at GPS Knowle. We are also now working closely with Hampton, Dorridge and Arden practices in a grouping called the rural Solihull Primary Care Network. We also aim to continue local services by working with a GP service provider called Solihealth. We can then continue to offer patients services such as blood thinning medication in the practice as we have the skilled staff rather than referring to hospital.
Online Access and services
The GP Forward View sets out a vision for changes to modernise general practice. If you haven’t done so already then please sign up to book appointments and view results online. The practice expects to enhance your online access to have over 25% of directly bookable appointments available online. Soon 111 will also have access to book appointments directly. We are keenly awaiting the development of NHS Apps to further improve access and communication with the practice. Your referrals will move to be 100% electronic so you can have increased choice and control on your hospital care. Balsall Common and Meriden Group Practice has been recognised by NHS Digital for having over 75% of electronic prescriptions. The practice is utilising text messaging for reminders, communication and feedback.
Contract changes: * IMPORTANT CHANGE* MINOR INJURIES TO A+E
We have accepted the Birmingham and Solihull Universal Offer contract which recognises many of the services we already provide. We already offer many in-house enhanced services in comparison to practices in Birmingham such as phlebotomy, COPD nurses, ECGs and walking blood pressure monitoring. However, the CCG changes mandate we must now signpost patients with minor injuries such as falls and cuts to a minor injury unit or A+E. This is to focus GPs on long term conditions, frailty, elderly, palliative care, enhancing self-care, preventing deterioration early to keep patients at home and preventing illness. For instance if you are over 40 and eligible please book for an NHS check. Other practice services are likely to change but we will strive with the support of our Patient Participation Group to keep services locally.
New practice team members/services
We have a new salaried GP Dr. Lisa Broom who is covering for Dr. Whitehead. The practice recognises that the population number is increasing and patient needs are increasing. Each patient is experiencing more complex medical conditions and takes more medication. Our new ‘Primary Care Network’ will soon hope to deliver extra new staff, improved access and services over the next 5 years. This year we hope to have a pharmacist and social prescriber in the network. The nursing team will continue to deliver (enhanced) hub services because we have the skills locally. Our advanced nurse practitioner offers minor illness clinics for new onset ‘acute’ illness. For instance a condition that needs a prescription and perhaps 111 or the pharmacist has signposted you to the practice.
The practice wants to increase the primary care team and maintain the future workforce for the growing patient needs. We have two GP trainers who mentor qualified medical doctors who are completing GP rotation attachments to become GPs. For many years we have hosted medical students from Imperial College (London) but now we also offer placements to our local Warwick Medical School student doctors.
The next five years…
We are already prepared for these changes and all the staff are motivated to deliver improved access to high quality local patient care.