Agenda item

Primary Care Access Plan Update

Report of the Integrated Care Board for Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire


Dr Paddy Hannigan Clinical director for primary care for the ICS, Chris Bird, Chief Transformation Officer & Tracy Shewan, Director of Communications and Corporate Services provided a report and presentation on the General Practice Access Plan in Staffordshire. The Committee were advised that there was a 5.8% increase in the number of appointments with patients compared with 2019. There were more workforce pressures with 5.7 WTE per 10,000 patients compared to 5.9 WTE nationally.


The Committee were informed that there were 146 practices across the ICT area, 129 had been rated good by the CQC. Each practice was responsible for their own telephony service.


The Committee were advised of the ongoing plans for GP access to offer a universal service which included:


·         Data and feedback triangulation,

·         Winter surge capacity

·         Accelerator access programme

·         Communications

·         Access support package

·         Workload initiatives

·         PCN enhanced access

·         Digital

The Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:


·         The COVID-19 vaccination programme was ongoing, and the Flu vaccinations rates were comparable to 2021. The current 7-day rate for COVID-19 was less than 100 per 100,000.

·         Admissions in hospital due to COVID-19 numbers were not significant, however there was an increase in Flu admissions.

·         Vaccinations in pharmacies was controlled regionally rather than by the ICS.

·         Practice nursing does not have the same career path as other nurse roles. The NHS people plan was about to be published to try and address workforce challenges.

·         Good practice should be shared between GP surgeries. In response, the Committee were reminded that there are plans to build a universal offer in all GP surgeries so that residents may have the same level of services. This fits in with the new primary care strategy which was currently being developed.  The universal offer had already been developed and should be brought to scrutiny early next year.

·         Workforce challenges: the UK was not as attractive as other countries to work in health care. It was reported that 26 international medical graduates were trained in Staffordshire and not one took a position in Staffordshire.

·         Not everyone can make day appointments at GP surgeries due to work, in response, the Committee were advised that there were a number of services available for evenings and weekends, every PCN had offered evening appointments.

·         GP telephony issues, calling GPs for appointments at 8am could be frustrating for patients, there were other methods available to book GP appointments, such as online or using an app. In response, the Committee were advised that the route in was complex and there was not a single option for patients. The Committee commented that the NHS was behind digitally and a digital solution was the way forward.

·         Emergency care pathway: 25% of GP appointments may have been better resolved by other means. There was currently a campaign to encourage patients to call 111 before their GP to signpost them appropriately.

·         GP surgeries should be mindful of General Data Protection Regulation GDPR.

·         The Committee queried if the GP estate was fit for purpose and if any analysis been done. In response, they were advised that there was an audit of estate however many practices were privately owned and as the capital budget was challenged, improving the estate would be a challenge.

The Chairman thanked officers for their presentation and highlighted that the Committee were supportive of the GP action plan however highlighted issues with access into GP surgeries.


Resolved – That the presentation on the action plan with regards to general practice areas in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent be received and noted.


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