For those of you who missed it, here is a flavour of what happened.
We had a packed two days of learning, sharing and networking across the keynote stage, two theatres and our networking lounge, covering everything from integrated working and social prescribing to digital adoption and PCN service specifications.
Message from NAPC’s new president
Dr Johnny Marshall OBE, new President of NAPC opened the conference by telling delegates that this was the moment for primary care to take centre stage and lead on making a real impact on patients’ lives. He said: “You’ve an opportunity to go out there and hear about what’s going on. What we hope is that you won’t want to be just part of hearing what it is going on, but you will want to make the next bit of history, you will want to be part of writing the next bit of the story. You will want to get more involved in terms of NAPC, the primary care home movement, helping and supporting each other to affect change.”
Video address from Health Secretary
The conference programme included national and local leaders from every corner of primary care. In a video message, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock MP said primary care is the bedrock of the NHS and as it continues to evolve it is important that people are able to come together to share insights: “It’s incredibly important that professional innovators like NAPC exists so you can get together to galvanise ideas and the clinical leadership that are driving these changes.”
He said that the primary care home model has been key to primary care transformation: “NAPC is a force for good. The work you have been doing with driving the primary care home model has been instrumental in shaping the form and purpose of primary care.” He also reiterated the importance of a resilient GP workforce, multidisciplinary working, the prevention of ill health and the role of technology in providing better support for the primary care workforce and improving care for patients.
Digital – a game changer
A key theme of this year’s conference was digitalisation in the NHS – the game changers across the country that are transforming the way patient care is delivered and joining up health and care systems. A keynote session on day two included two case studies – one led by Professor Joe Harrison, Chief Executive, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who demonstrated the trust’s pioneering patient-facing portal that shows clinical information at a touch of the button. Lawrence Tallon, Director of Strategy, Planning and Performance, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, also gave an overview of Birmingham’s plans to use a triage phone app to reduce attendances at A&E and video technology to run remote outpatient appointments.
Call for NAPC digital incubator sites
Our primary care theatre ran a digital stream chaired by Dr Pooja Sikka. This included a session on NAPC Digital – a new programme that brings together NAPC‘s networks with clinical innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders to drive digital transformation across primary care. The session officially launched the NAPC primary care network digital incubation programme, which aims to support primary care providers to embrace and adopt technology that meets the needs of its population and workforce. Attendees also heard from digital heath innovators about the difference their products and services are making to the health and care system. Finally, the stream showcased how Dorset Integrated Care System (ICS) is using innovative technology to join up different parts of the ICS and transform the way care is delivered to patients, with speakers including Dr Karen Kirkham, GP, Senior Medical Advisor Primary Care Provider Transformation, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Clinical Lead, Dorset ICS.
PCN plans and preparing for 2020
Our programme around primary care networks also included a session with Dominic Hardy, Director of Primary Care and System Transformation, NHS England and NHS Improvement who spoke about plans for the future and how we will know PCNs are having an impact through their role in improving patient access and experience.
Other sessions were dedicated to how PCNs can prepare for the new services they are required to start offering by 2020. This included a showcase of enhanced health in care homes services run by North East and North Cumbria Frailty Network (a former vanguard site) and Herne Bay Primary Care Home, which has seen a reduction in A&E attendances as a result of the service.
There was an exploration of personalised care with Simon Chapman, Deputy Director, Personalised Care Group, NHS England and Dr Marie Anne Essam, GP, Pathfinder Practice, South Oxhey – who has driven social prescribing and community-based support – a key aspect of personalised care – in her local area. The stream also included a showcase of anticipatory care from a primary care home in West Sussex which has developed an integrated and responsive team for high risk patients, and PCNs in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System (ICS) that are developing integrated working with community care services including proactive care planning for frail patients.
Acute and primary care integration
The conference explored the growing level of integration between primary care and the acute sector, looking beyond primary care networks working with providers across the system to take integrated care to the next level.Delegates heard from Dr Barbara Cleaver, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust about cross sector integration to better manage mental health patients in A&E and Dr Peter Aitken, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, shared the work happening to bridge the acute/community and primary care divide in Devon.
Mental health focus
Mental health was the final key theme of the conference. Most strikingly delegates had several opportunities to hear from the inspiring Tony O’Neill, a patient from Fleetwood whose own experience with depression led to him founding Men’s Shed, a community group tackling a spate of male suicides in the town. They also had a chance to watch members of the Health and Harmony singing group in Fleetwood which is helping relieve isolation and provide connections and social interaction.
A keynote panel discussion heard from Claire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement giving a national perspective followed by an informal session exploring the work being done in Newport Pagnell and Stamford primary care homes to improve mental health resilience. A session on mental health in young people and working with schools also brought into focus the vital work South Coast Medical Group PCH and Team Winsford PCH are doing to support younger people and improve outcomes in areas of deprivation and social challenges.
NAPC Awards 2019 winners
We also announced the winners of the NAPC Annual Awards 2019 on the first night of the conference – all of whom have worked to transform primary care for their local communities through sheer passion, determination, vision and drive.
Our winners this year are:
- Clinician of the Year – Dr Tom Milligan, Practice One, Bridlington
- Primary Care Manager of the Year – Tracy Dell, Practice Manager, North Halifax Primary Care Network
- Newcomer of the Year – Nicola Akehurst, Advanced Practice Physiotherapist Lead, Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Primary Care Network of the Year – East Cornwall PCN
- Primary Care Home of the Year – St Austell Healthcare Primary Care Home
A big thanks to everyone who was involved in this year’s conference and awards!