Patients benefitting from GP led health services

Via the Department of Health

Examples from around the country highlight that during the first year of emerging clinical commissioning groups redesigning services, patients are starting to experience improvements in quality of care.

These include clinical commissioning groups such as in Newcastle where the number of patients admitted to hospital with emergency respiratory problems has decreased by 70 per cent. And in Bedfordshire a team has been set up to deal with emergency calls from care homes, helping reduce hospital visits by 40 per cent. A group in Wigan has redesigned stroke services, cutting the average hospital stay for patients from 56 days to 12 days.

After a decade of rising emergency hospital admissions, 2011 saw the first year on year decline. This has been achieved at the same time as a growing number of GPs have started to play a more central role in choosing the most appropriate care for their patients. It also coincides with a renewed focus on improving outcomes rather than targets, giving the NHS greater freedom to focus on delivering the very best care for patients.

Examples of clinicians in clinical commissioning groups starting to move away from the hospital-based system and deliver better care for their patients in the community include:

  • The Dartford, Gravesham & Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group’s focus on preventing hospital admissions saw a 33% reduction in hospital attendances and admissions amongst care home patients over a six month period.
  • In Nottingham, the clinical commissioning group has reduced emergency admissions by working with all GP practices in the area to provide as much information as possible to patients about the new 111 service.
  • A clinical commissioning group in Barnet has set up a community gynaecologist, helping over 400 women a month get this treatment closer to home, not in hospital.
  • A clinical commissioning group in Bedfordshire has set up a team to deal exclusively with care home emergency calls and arranged for vulnerable older people to be treated in their home, and made nearly a 40% reduction in hospital visits.
  • Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group has developed a simple blood test for GPs to improve care for heart failure patients which will save the NHS locally up to £60,000 a year, and benefit on average 10 patients at every practice in the catchment area.
  • A clinical commissioning group in Torbay has set up an innovative fitness and exercise programme that has resulted in around 60 per cent of the people who attended the pilot course losing 5-10 per cent of their body weight.
  • A clinical commissioning group in Wigan has redesigned stroke services and reduced the average hospital stay for patients from 56 days to 12 days, reducing A&E waits and saving £700,000 per year.

Further case studies can be found on the Department of Health website.