Primary care transformation
Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS. Primary care includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry (eye health) services.
What are we doing to transform the service?
The key transformational activity in primary care will be delivered through and in partnership with our 8 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and their member practices which aim to reform primary care by placing General Practice in the heart of communities and at the heart of delivering multidisciplinary approaches to supporting their patients.
In addition, in 2022/23 we will work with NHS England to prepare for the transition to NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin of delegated commissioning for pharmacy, optometry and dentistry from 1 April 2023.
We are working together to ensure the underpinning infrastructure to deliver the best services and experience for our patients is in place, with a focus on workforce, estates and digital.
What do we want to achieve with this work?
We want to:
- Improve access to primary care and continuity of care for patients
- Increased focus on prevention improving health outcomes
- Modernise the infrastructure supporting the delivery of safe, high quality primary care through investment in estates and digital solutions
- Create a sustainable primary care workforce by making STW an attractive place for primary care clinicians and non clinicians to work
- Design services around the needs of and targeted to local populations reducing health inequalities
How will we do this?
- PCNs will work in partnership with other organisations to develop integrated neighbourhood teams rooted in a sense of shared ownership for improving the health and wellbeing of the population
- Streamline access to urgent, same-day care and advice from an expanded multi-disciplinary team, using data and digital technology to enable patients to quickly find the right support to meet their needs
- Ensure those who would most benefit from continuity of care in general practice (such as those with long term conditions) can access more proactive, personalised support from a named clinician working as part of a team of professionals
- Take a more active role in creating healthy communities and reducing ill health by working with communities, making more effective use of data and developing closer working relationships with local authorities and the voluntary sector
- Create the right environment through our workforce, estates and data to support the delivery of the above in every neighbourhood
What has been done so far?
- 8 Primary Care Networks established
- Primary care appointments have been restored to more than pre-pandemic levels
- Successful delivery of the flu and covid vaccination programme
- Increased focus on structured medication reviews, early cancer diagnosis, enhanced health in care homes, and social prescribing
- Increased focus on cardiovascular disease prevention and diagnosis through more opportunistic blood pressure checks
- Earlier identification of people at risk of atrial fibrillation with its associated risks of stroke and heart attack
- Increased the number of people who have a severe mental illness or a learning disability who have received an annual health check
- Identified a population within each PCN experiencing inequality in health provision and/or outcomes and implemented a plan to tackle the unmet needs of that population
- Developed a GP Strategy and implemented a range of initiatives to improve GP recruitment and retention including GP Fellowship, GP Mentors, GP Champions.
- Work is underway with PCNs to develop workforce and estates strategies to identify where we can use existing estate better, ensure the current estate is fit for purpose and explore where further efficiencies can be made
- We are one of 6 pilots in the nationally funded Cavell Centre programme which will involve a new state of the art health and wellbeing centre in the south of Shrewsbury bringing together 6 GP practices and a range of other community and voluntary services under one roof working in an integrated way. Subject to NHSEI approvals the centre is due to open July 2025
- Reviewed existing digital/IT systems to identify opportunities where we can begin to work on integrated systems and refreshed our Local Digital Roadmap objectives for the next two years
- Implementing One Health and Care – the new integrated care record as well as a range of tools that allow patients to access health and care services including remote consultations, ordering medication and booking appointments
- Supported the development of the new, more personalised and joined-up dementia service model being launched in the county which aims to transform the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin