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Friday 21st October 2016

9 out of every 10 people to benefit from more personalised care

4th April 2011

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has today announced a fourth group of GPs ready to lead the way and modernise the NHS.

220 groups of GP practices across the country covering nearly 90% of the population have come forward so they can directly commission bespoke services focused on delivering the best outcomes for their patients. This means that 45.7 million people around the country will now receive personalised care from the clinician that knows them best.

The selected pathfinders represent GPs who have demonstrated readiness to start taking on commissioning responsibilities.  The groups will work together to help manage local budgets and purchase services for patients directly with other NHS colleagues and local authorities.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

"Today we can announce that 90% of the country is now covered by groups of GPs who are best placed to deliver better care for patients. This uptake from the grass-roots is very encouraging and means that 9 out of 10 people in England will start to see the benefit of more personalised care.

"We welcome the new groups, which take the total number of GP pathfinders to 220. It is not only great news for patients but the entire NHS as doctors step forward to modernise services.

"Today is also the start of the new financial year and with it comes the delivery of our promise to protect the NHS with £11.5 billion of extra funding over four years."

Where emerging consortia have been formed, patients are already benefiting from local commissioning and healthcare services tailored to their needs.

In Barnet, for example, the NHS has worked together to set up a very successful local gynaecology service which is currently seeing 400 patients every month in a community setting.  It has high levels of patient satisfaction, has led to a reduction in hospital visits and reduced costs.
In City & Hackney, GPs and hospital consultants at Homerton University Hospital have worked together to reduce new Outpatient Department referrals by 2.5% over the last year.

From the first, second and third wave of pathfinders, there are a number of further examples of innovative local commissioning:

  • Barking & Dagenham Quality Care Consortium identified ophthalmology as an area where they could redesign services for the benefit of patients and bring care closer to home. Working together with consultants from their local acute trust and the primary care trust, they have developed a community based ophthalmology service which is expected to start later in the spring. This will allow GPs and optometrists to refer patients directly to the new service, reducing patient waiting times and avoidable hospital referrals.
  • In Bexley, GPs have put in place a new service which cuts the waiting time to obtain a diagnosis for coronary heart disease from up to nine months to as little as three weeks. The service uses a clinic in Harley Street to provide cutting edge scans, which are cheaper and safer than alternative diagnostic treatments.
  • In Nottinghamshire, GPs have improved care for the 4,000 diabetics in their region. By providing specialist support in local clinics in GP practices, the service avoids diabetics having to be treated in hospital.
  • In Redbridge, GPs send patients with skin problems to a local GP who specialises in them, meaning that patients can go to a local surgery, instead of having to travel further afield.
  • In Reading, GPs have organised a new service for people with back pain where physios go and treat patients in their own home.
  • In Somerset, GPs have organised oxygen therapy for people with breathing difficulties in their own homes which helps keep patients healthy and out of hospital.
  • In Croydon, GPs have organised diagnostic services – such as ultrasound – in their local GP practices. This means that patients are seen quicker, nearer to their homes, and can avoid travelling to hospital.
  • In Richmond, GPs have identified a need for more responsive community services to avoid unnecessary acute admissions. Working together with their local community services provider they are providing intensive support to patients in their own homes and have jointly designed a rapid response community team to get back to patients within two hours of contact.

GP pathfinders will be supported by the National Clinical Commissioning Network, the National Leadership Council, and by national primary care bodies, such as the Royal College of GPs’ Centre for Commissioning.


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