“London calling”

25th October 2016

“They always say time changes things but actually you have to change them yourself ” – Andy Warhol

Last week I was invited to speak at The King’s Fund Conference in London on emerging models of primary care. It was a stimulating day in the company of many leaders and innovators. I was presenting the achievements of Suffolk GP Federation and the audience were I think impressed with what we had achieved.

Many of the themes were already being addressed by the Suffolk GP Federation.

Maureen Baker, RCGP Chair, talked about the need for GPs to actively seek out the funding available from NHS England in the various resilience programmes and the need for us to provide a robust business case for funding for any STP projects. This is something that general practice has not in the past been particularly good at but we have experience now as a federation which puts us in a good place.

Sir Sam Everington and his team from Bromley by Bow were, as ever, inspirational and made two very good points that there is a move from secondary care to primary care but equally we must be moving work from primary care back into the community if we are to survive. He also pointed out that his local hospital had 360 beds yet he had 360,000 beds.

There were two speakers on leadership. Jane Povey from the Faculty of Medical Leadership Management showed evidence that good leadership produces better health outcomes for patients.  This resonates with our leadership training.

Dr Chris Jones from West Wakefield gave an excellent presentation on care navigation, to help our in receptionists’ direct patients to the most appropriate person directly rather than referral via the doctor. There were significant gains particularly in terms of pharmacists, physiotherapists and mental health. The main move was to a non-binary from, the “we have an appointment/no appointment” conversations. For this to work it is clear that we need to have a suite of operations for our receptionists to direct people to, but I believe that if we are to sort out demand in general practice we do need to address the “front end”. I am in conversation with Dr Jones about how we may use some of that learning locally.

It was noted by Karen Storey, Primary Care Lead Nurse Work Force, noted that the current GP shortage is similarly reflected in our nurse practitioner/practice nurse staffing with up to 50% retiring in the next ten years. This is something that we are looking at working on, with CEPN’s and a planned nurse leadership programme.

” London calling! Yes I was there too and you know what they said, well some of it was true” – The Clash