To receive an update from the One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) Partnership.
The NHS Partners of One Gloucestershire include: -
NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
Primary Care (GP) Providers
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Mary Hutton, (representing One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System), introduced the report by emphasising the need to consider the needs of the population in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and planning for the anticipated pressures on the NHS during the winter months.
It was explained that work on the future needs of the Gloucestershire population was a major focus of work, relying on feedback from the public, patients, carers and staff to help plan how the system needed to change and adapt going forward.
Recognising the extreme pressures placed on carers nationally, a key focus of work was to understand the activities required to support the carers in the county. The results of an online survey completed over the summer, (inviting Gloucestershire Carers to share their experiences and asking how ICS could support them), was completed by 273 carers. The results of the survey had been presented at various meetings, including the CCG Executive Group.
In addition, Gloucestershire Carers Hub was organising a Gloucestershire Carers Rights Week event to be held later in the month to showcase various aspects of wellbeing support available to carers from a variety of means.
Dr Andy Seymour, (Clinical Chair), referred to the collaborative work that had been undertaken in many parts of the country to recognise/early diagnose a repercussion of Covid-19, referred to as silent hypoxia, (where a patient is not getting enough oxygen to the body). In response to the idea of introducing home oximetry (measuring the level of oxygen in a person’s blood in their own home), a Covid-19 Virtual Ward had been developed and implemented in several regions around the UK.
The aim of developing a Covid-19 Virtual Ward was to identify patients showing signs of early deterioration in the community and where clinically appropriate, increase their care to provide better results for the person. The Gloucestershire Covid-19 Virtual Ward model to support clinicians to follow up and monitor patients, (confirmed with or suspected to have Covid-19 and at a higher risk of deterioration), within their own homes. Dr Seymour informed members that use of the virtual ward would be rolled out across the county during the next few weeks and would be a great help to the system.
Noting the emphasis on mental health referred to in the Director of Public Health’s update to the committee, Mary Hutton reiterated the need to adapt mental health services to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of the county, including children and young people.
During the first phase of the pandemic, a children and young people wellbeing chat-line had been made available during weekdays from 9 to 5pm, providing guidance and support to the young people of the county and a parent support line. Both functions had been provided throughout the summer holidays and extended from September onwards. The service had been recently adapted to include a wellbeing lunch time ‘drop in’ service for Secondary Schools, to be rolled out to all Trailblazer Secondary Schools.
Responding to questions, members were informed that the support offered to children and young people across the county was made up of various components, (not just a chat-line service), and was being developed to meet the needs of children and young people as they emerged. Advising members that this extensive piece of work would continue into the New Year, it was suggested a briefing note be provided to members on the progress of the work in 2021.
Responding to questions on the work being undertaken in response to the impact of Covid-19 on eating disorders and the expectation that referrals to an urgent appointment service that was offered, (offering urgent appointments and physical health monitoring), might increase as a result of the pandemic, (at the time of the meeting, referrals had increased by 25%), it was confirmed that extra resources for the service had been provided and that the referral rate was under weekly review. An update to be provided in 2021.
The One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) Lead Report was noted.