Agenda item

GCCG Clinical Chair/Accountable Officer Report

To note the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG) Clinical Chair and Accountable Officers’ Report.



Mary Hutton, (representing GCCG and One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System), referred members to the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG) Clinical Chair and Accountable Officer Report.


Key information highlighted by the report included: -


a)    Primary Care Appointments


Following on from questions relating to GP appointments asked earlier in the meeting, the committee noted data released by NHS Digital in relation to recent press attention on increased activities in GP practices. The report confirmed that, during the most recent 12 month period, (up to and including activity in April 2021), there had been a 6% increase in activity in comparison to the previous 12 month period from May 2019 to April 2020. Nationally, 392 appointments per thousand patients had been recorded in April 2021, (265 in April 2020 and 399 in April 2019).


Data relating to Gloucestershire reported 437 appointments per thousand patients, in comparison to 290 appointments per thousand in April 2020 and 418 in April 2019. A significant drop in appointments in April 2020 reflected the impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown. Taking account of activity in 2019, the latest figures represented an upward trend.


It was noted that 61% of all appointments in Gloucestershire during April 2021 had been face-to-face, (55% nationally). This figure reflected huge efforts by local GP practices to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme, in addition to providing urgent and routine care.


b)   Care Quality Commission (CQC) for General Practice, mergers and changes to Primary Care Networks


From April 2021, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had resumed its inspections of independent primary care providers. Inspections will be specific ‘focused inspections’ looking at three key areas/questions, (safe, effective and well-led), plus any other areas identified as concerns from previous inspections.


In February 2021, the CQC made an unannounced inspection of the Urgent and Emergency Care Unit (UEC) at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. It was confirmed that, whilst the hospital had retained an overall ‘Good’ rating, the UEC service had been rated as ‘Requiring Improvement’. The CQC report included a number of positive observations, relating to staff and the needs of patients. As a result of the inspection, the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHT) was continually assessing and making changes to the way Emergency Departments were run. A number of measures had been introduced which were already making a positive impact.


These included:-


                      i.        Eliminating corridor care within emergency departments/ creating more space;

                    ii.        Improving ambulance drop off times by establishing additional drop off points;

                   iii.        Responding to walk-in patients more rapidly;

                   iv.        Ensuring patients are seen by the most appropriate doctor/by-passing the Emergency Department, if appropriate.


The impact of the new measures were encouraging, including improvements to the average wait time of a patient in an ambulance. The Trust had been commended by NHS Improvement (NHSI) for addressing the areas under question and for making significant improvements. It was noted, however, that significant challenges remained in respect of improvements to the four hour wait time performance category, which had been affected by high levels of demand; ongoing vacancies in medical and senior nurse staffing and reduced access to beds due to social distancing measures and higher levels of patients awaiting discharge with packages of care.


The report was noted.

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