Gloucester on a map

Gloucestershire ICB on primary care, Creative Health Programme, and priorities for the future

Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from a recent Gloucestershire ICB meeting in May.

Primary care in Gloucestershire

The chief executive report drew attention to Gloucester’s Primary Care Dental Strategy; CEO Mary Hutton noted that earlier in the year the ICB formed a Dental Strategy group to assist as they took delegated responsibility for planning and commissioning in this area, with group membership including representatives from Healthwatch, patients, Gloucestershire Local Dental Committee, NHS England, local trusts, the Southwest Dental Network, the council public health team, and ICB staff. They have utilised NHSE’s dental roadmap and are in the process of working with local dentists to address challenges of access, workforce and oral health. Plans are being drafted for topics such as increasing access to urgent appointments; the development of a primary care access centre in Gloucester city; developing the local apprenticeship and training offers; and developing a new service model for enhanced dental health in care homes. Other plans include offering specific training in oral health promotion to staff working with other vulnerable groups, and promoting take-up of existing programmes from NHSE.

Another area of focus was the PCN Quality Improvement Projects. Here, the CEO highlighted how PCNs in the region received £2.6 million in funding across 2021 and 2022 to support Quality Improvement initiatives, driven by population health management to support identified population needs. The report shared an update on the areas receiving focus for improvement through these projects, including frailty, dementia, respiratory, children and young people, mental health and dermatology. Positive impacts to date were noted, including Tewkesbury with Newent and Staunton PCN’s frailty project, which has supported the identification of moderately frail patients and implemented interventions such as strength and balance classes to
help people stay well for longer. In another example, Inner City PCN has developed a Community Respiratory Clinic and streamlined their approach to respiratory care across the PCN to ensure that it is consistent.

A further £950,000 has been secured for Quality Improvement projects, with PCNs asked to share proposals using population health management methodology and health inequalities information to prioritise projects with existing schemes, within the parameters of chronic disease, or linked to ICB priorities.

Creative Health Programme

This programme, which sims to support people with various conditions by offering psychosocial support and education along with embedding self-management, “continues to develop and thrive.” Through this programme, the ICB works Gloucestershire Creative Health Consortium and five main partners: Artlift, Artspace, Art Shape, The Music Works and Mindsong.

The CEO report states: “We utilise a variety of evaluation methods, including an adapted Public Health England template, case studies and films and we have also worked closely with these organisations to develop a robust minimum dataset to collect and analyse the quantitative evidence of the impact this is having on the individuals involved as well as the wider system.”

At present, ten programmes are included in Creative Health with health conditions supported including adult persistent pain, adult respiratory and long-COVID, dementia and loneliness, adult mental health, perinatal, post-ICU, COVID-19 and cardiac rehab.

Integrated performance report

The board went on to share a number of key achievements in 2022/2023 through the integrated performance report.

“A number of new pathways and services have been operationalised to support timely care in the most appropriate setting: for example the Community Assessment and Treatment Unit supporting the frail patients who would otherwise have had an acute admission, non-specific symptoms pathway for suspected cancer, and falls service expansion to cover both injurious and non-injurious falls.”

In addition, the report shares how improvements in access to services and wider support for people with serious mental illness have been seen, with many more people having a full physical health check and taking up subsequent interventions.

Focus and priorities for 2023/24 include elective recovery, with “an ambitious recovery plan” submitted; supporting staff and increasing resilience in primary care; and reducing waiting times and increasing access across mental health services, particularly around provision of Talking Therapies and community support.

Other priorities include continuing to work with maternity, surgical services and patient participation groups following CQC review, and setting out a new trajectory for cancer services to ensure that patients are not waiting more than 62 day for cancer treatment unless unavoidable.

To access the board papers in full, please click here.