Agenda item - Formal Member Involvement
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Formal Member Involvement
29.1 The Chair invited Councillor Page to ask his question:
“A recent report by a medical royal college, reported in the Argus on 31st August, shows that 17% of patients are waiting more than a week for an appointment with a GP in Brighton & Hove, a 5% increase since the equivalent survey five years ago.
“With dangerously low numbers of GPs persisting for our population following so many surgery closures in the last two years, and the threatened closure of the Queens Road minor injuries clinic, what is the CCG’s action plan which could reassure our residents that primary care services are not deteriorating?”
29.2 The Chair responded:
“As the Health & Wellbeing Board, and also the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee who have also had reports, are aware the numbers of GPs per 100,000 patients in the city has declined. This is not just a city problem but a national issue.
“The CCG has already listed a report to come to the Health & Wellbeing Board in November to outline its primary care strategy, the work we are going with our GPs to maximise service provision as well as the proposals for the urgent treatment centre. This report is unfortunately not yet ready to come to this Board today but will hopefully provide a more comprehensive response that can be provided today.
“We are aware that there have been concerns about the potential closure of the Queens Road walk in GP centre, however we must stress that there are no immediate plans to do this and any changes will be made in a planned, evidenced based and coordinated way to ensure that there are services for residents and visitors to the city.
“We are seeking to increase provision within our GP facilities through increasing Advanced Practice Nurses to support GPs, specific clinics for health concerns eg diabetes , COPD, etc through working in clusters as well as working with other agencies in our GP surgeries. However the need to attract more GPs on terms and conditions that can be flexible to their needs remains a challenge. The ‘old model’ of GPs who are partners in the surgery is only one approach and we are looking at varied options to ensure we are attractive to new recruits.
“In addition we need to also think of culture change and that direct referrals from services such as physiotherapy, wellbeing , CVS, as well as Active Signposting , via receptionists, combined with input from Community Navigators are key when combined with patient education and empowerment.
“If we all as a local system including HWB members push these new ways of referring and linking to services then we can create capacity for vulnerable groups and increase the chance of suitable appointments, continuity of care.”
29.3 Councillor Page stated that hoped the report would cover the lengthening waiting times for GP appointments which he felt was of real concern. He also stated that while he understood that GP recruitment may be difficult nationally the data which he had seen suggested that Brighton & Hove had a particularly low ration of GPs to patients.
29.4 Chris Clark confirmed on behalf of the Chair that the patient experience of accessing GP services would be included in the strategy. He also stated that recruitment was a national issue and while the CCG did recognise the low ration of GPs to patients this was not the case in all areas of primary care and new models of primary care would be explored to reflect that fact.