Several sites testing a new approach to primary care have reported seeing a positive impact on care and services, just months after beginning to pilot the Primary Care Home model.
One locality has reported a step change in its recruitment of community nurses, as nurses see the benefits of the pioneering way of working and are keen to get involved. And other sites have spoken of making progress towards reconfiguring care, with several GP practices using and developing different approaches to deal with capacity issues. The developments were shared at a meeting of the 15 rapid test sites involved in the Primary Care Home programme on 28 April. The programme is being led by the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) and the NHS Confederation.
Reshaping primary care
Primary Care Home (PCH) is a form of multispecialty community provider model (MCP). Aligned with the vision of the Five Year Forward View, the model aims to re-shape the way primary care services are delivered, based on local population needs.
Key features include:
- Provision of care to a defined, registered population of between 30,000 and 50,000
- Aligned clinical financial drivers through a unified, capitated budget with appropriate shared risks and rewards
- An integrated workforce, with a strong focus on partnerships spanning primary, secondary and social care
- A combined focus on personalisation of care with improvements in population health outcomes.
Patients will benefit from easy access to a single integrated, multidisciplinary team drawn from a wide range of health and social care professionals. The team could include GPs, community nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacist and specialists from social care.
Working at this scale will ensure that everyone within the team knows everyone else, with the patient not needing to deal with multiple specialists and organisations.
The aim is to provide care to patients that is significantly more person-centred, joined-up, proactive and convenient.
Progress to date
Four months on from being selected to take forward the new care model, the 15 sites met in London to discuss their progress to date and share experiences. The test sites are all at different stages, but some are already seeing a positive impact.
Many are focusing on common themes, including an emphasis on co-location of community staff within GP services. Some are concentrating on developing specific roles to look at improving prescribing and medication control. Others are developing joined-up IT systems to better share data and resources.
Several of the 15 are working with academic institutions to evaluate their impact and this will be the real test for being able to demonstrate value.
The event uncovered common themes regarding challenges, including long-term sustainability. Some localities are working towards better engagement and buy-in from their clinical commissioning group.
How the PCH model will be reflected in the national conversation about MCP contracting was also raised as a concern. NAPC, the NHS Confederation’s primary care provider network, will be taking this forward in conversation with the national bodies.
This article was originally published by NHS Confederation.