Agenda item

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG) Performance Report

To consider an overview of performance by the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG) against NHS constitutional and other agreed standards.

 

To include an update on ambulance response times during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

Minutes:

The committee received an overview on the performance of the local NHS based on a range of national priorities and other agreed local standards. The report included an update on ambulance response times in Gloucestershire by the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWAST), including the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

The update included the following information: -

 

a)    Recovery of NHS service activity and performance following the COVID-19 pandemic was underway. Urgent care services, in particular, were experiencing additional pressures/demand in comparison to the demands on services experienced during periods of national lockdown;

 

b)    Performance remained strong in respect of delivering cancer services in Gloucestershire and was showing good recovery in comparison with other CCG areas in the South West Region in respect of elective services. Notable areas of recovery and performance included; local imaging investigative (diagnostic) services and the reduction of patients waiting over 52 weeks for treatment;

 

c)    Demand for all healthcare in Gloucestershire, (in response to COVID-19 pressures from increased transmission of the ‘delta variant’), was likely to impact on the recovery process from the pandemic for the remainder of the year;

 

d)    NHS England/Improvement Oversight assessments published in November 2020 rated the overall performance of the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) 2019/2020 as ‘good’ based on the assessment of the following performance indicators: i) new service models; ii) preventing ill health and reducing inequalities; iii) quality of care and outcomes; iv) leadership and workforce and v) finance and use of resources.

 

e)    Performance against key standards continued to follow national trends, with the exception of Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Ambulance (Category 1) response times. (The Gloucestershire response time was reported as 7.8 minutes against a national response time of 7 minutes. The response time had risen again in May 2021 to 8 minutes).

 

f)     The committee enquired into possible explanations for the high demand in urgent care and the pressures being experienced by SWASFT. It was suggested that a possible explanation for the high demand in urgent care was the increased volume of people taking holidays locally and in the UK, (due to the pandemic), which in turn, was impacting on the high demand for ambulance services. In spite of the efforts to clear the backlog of work, urgent care services continued to be experiencing significant pressures. It was hoped, an audit due to be undertaken later in the week would provide a better understanding of the increased number of people requiring urgent care.

 

It was confirmed that the Gloucestershire Vaccination Programme continued to be very successful and had reached a high proportion of the local population.

 

One member of the committee reflected on the increasing pressures on SWASFT and the use of first responders and volunteers in rural areas. It was suggested a focus on effective communications to encourage the recruitment of both first responders and volunteers would be helpful to maintain sufficient levels of assistance and support. A detailed report on ambulance response times was requested for consideration by the committee at the next meeting. The report to include information on the declaration of critical incidents and what action was taken after a patient was admitted to hospital via ambulance. Action by GCCG and SWAST

 

Another member enquired into the capacity for the local NHS to address issues relating to mental health services post the pandemic, particularly in relation to children’s mental health. The committee was advised that a significant amount of funding had been invested into a ‘Trail-blazer’ programme to prioritise children’s mental health issues, including undertaking work in local schools. It was suggested that an update on this work be provided at a later date. Action by GCCG

 

Several members focussed on concerns relating to primary care (face-to-face) appointments now the period of lockdown had ended. One member enquired about the impact of angry/frustrated patients on health service staff and if the impact of negative behaviour was recognised? It was confirmed that the pressures arsing from patient conduct and behaviour were known and that support work was in place to overcome the impact of such situations, including the sharing and communicating of information via social media. It was noted that some patients preferred the use of the telephone/on-line triage consultation arrangements introduced during the pandemic.

 

Another member asked what support the committee, including the 6 district co-opted members, might provide in communicating messages emerging from NHS winter planning in the Autumn. Chair, Cllr Andrew Gravells, welcomed the suggestion of providing effective communications as an area of focus for the committee to concentrate on and encouraged members to report back any information they might receive at HOSC meetings to their respective authorities. Action by All 

 

In addition, it was suggested the NHS Communications and Engagement Group share details of their work with the committee. Cllr Linda Cohen expressed a particular interest in the work of this group. Action by GCCG 

 

The performance report was noted.

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