Agenda item

Primary Care Access Recovery Plan Report


The Head of Transformation and Partnerships, (Primary Care, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism), NHS Cheshire and Merseyside (Wirral) presented the report which provided an update on the work specific to Primary Care Access Recovery (PCARP), overseen by the Primary Care Group. The access recovery plan was building on what Primary Care has been doing to enhance access with things like evening appointments and Saturday appointments.  Digital transformation was being used to support access for patients which included the NHS app for repeat prescriptions and appointment booking and the digital pathways framework was looking at ways to improve access for patients. The national general practice improvement programme was available for practices and PCN’s to help them to apply the digital infrastructure to improve access for patients. There was a focus on improvement around the primary care and secondary care interface and it was key to optimise working together. This included components such as enabling patients to see their records, expanding pharmacy to offer services direct to patients and there was a push on general practice access to provide a resolution when contacted. Push the wider access points. By the end of June there would be no analogue phones in general practice and it was key to provide care navigation training for the people who answer the calls to understand the wide breadth of care available. It was reported that the access hub which provided additional enhanced access during weekday evenings and weekends was to end at the end of March 2024 and funding for a two week extension was being explored.


The next actions with the PCN’s were centred around patient surveys, how GP’s managed their demand, the access recovery plan, patient experience of access and accuracy in recording appointments.


Members mentioned the need to remember that not all patients would be digitally ready. Members discussed Pharmacy First in the light of recently closed pharmacies and there were issues around self referral. Members sought clarification of the interface between the WUTH patient portal and the NHS app and this was given. The aim was to go live from April 2024. It was reported that some test results were to be delayed to allow a discussion with a clinician first.


The direction of travel towards one contact to get an outcome was welcomed by Members but it was highlighted that some practices with 250 patches per day would struggle and would need support. It was explained that a two percent uplift in primary care costs would not cover the increase in costs and some practices were struggling to survive.


Members discussed the national dental recovery plan where dentists had to effectively make a choice between the national plan and the local plan. The national plan was to address issues where there were dental deserts with no dentists and 240 dentists were to receive £20,000 to go and work in those areas. The system would be up and running on 7 April 2024. A dentistry report from Tom Knight would be added to the work programme.


An update report was to be brought back in the 2024-2025 year to monitor delivery. 


Resolved – That the update on Primary Care Access Recovery Plans via the Primary Care Group be noted.

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