Agenda item


The Chair of the GP Federation, John Boyington and the Chief Officer, Michelle Armstrong will report at the meeting.  Background information is attached.


John Boyington, Chair of the Bury GP Federation presented members with an update on the work of the GP Federation and focussing on the successful Prime Minister's Challenge Fund bid.


It was explained that the GP Federation was a company Limited by shares which was incorporated in November 2103. There were originally 26 GP practice members who jointly invested £250 000 to establish the federation and a further 4 had since joined.


It was explained that the GP Federation had been commissioned to work with the Radcliffe GP practices to help set up and operate the Healthier Radcliffe Pilot.


Work had also been carried out to assist with the winter pressures that GP surgeries were under during the winter season and had seen surgeries providing extra hours to assist with this.


The objective of the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund had been to:-


·                     Pilot improvements in access to appointments;

·                     Promote innovation, share learning and deliver benefits to patients;

·                     Explore a variety of ways to extend access including:

        - Longer opening hours

        - Greater flexibility of access - e.g. multiple site access

        - Greater use of

·                     Technology

·                    Online services

·                    Telehealth


The GP federation had submitted the 'Bury Easy-GP'  bid which was presented as a document setting out vision and ambition and included:


·                     Extended working hours -

        6.30 - 8pm Monday to Friday

        8am - 6pm Saturday and Sunday 

·                     Increasing the number of patients registered for online access

·                     Offering telephone consultations to all patients instead of face to face

·                     Developing a comparison style website.


John reported that the proposed models for service delivery had been accepted by all members who are collaborating to increase online registration, a telephone consultation option and to deliver extended working hours.


The extended working hours model was based on having 5 sites strategically placed around the borough with a planned offering of 1420 extra appointments per week. It was explained that currently all partner GPs were being given the option to work extended hours at a rate of £80 ph. Those GPs offering the extended hours would have read and write access to all Bury patients' medical records which would allow for a bury patient to access any of the sites across the borough.


It was explained that the service was just ramping up to capacity and there had been issues with IT.


The extended working hours was currently at 50% of the expected capacity providing an extra 700 appointment per week.


There was currently no prescription printing solution available.


GPs had been slow to come forward but recruitment was now picking up.


John reported that the initial funding from the Challenge Fund would deliver services to May 2015. Additional funds had however been allocated which would extend services to November 2015 and allow for further evaluation     


The Clinical Commissioning Group were committed to funding an Extended Working Hours service but were waiting for the evaluation feedback before determining how the service would be delivered.


Those present were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and the following points were raised:-


·                     Councillor Fitzwalter referred to the 5 sites across the borough that had been identified to provide the extended working hours. Tottington Medical Centre had been identified as the site for the north of the Borough but it was barely up and running due to issues with access to rooms and GPs from Ramsbottom not having capacity to provide extra hours. Councillor Fitzwalter explained that the service was currently only offering 2 hours on a Saturday and 2 hours on a Sunday.


John explained that the GP Federation were aware that access to practices in Tottington had been difficult but they were committed to ensure that full capacity was provided. The Federation were recruiting GPs and the issue of rooms was being addressed. It was explained that the evaluation of the uptake of the use of extended hours services would be based on the capacity available.


·                     Councillor Pickstone asked how much funding had and would be received.


John reported that the initial Challenge Fund amount had been £2.7m and an extra £600,000 had been secured from April 2015.


·                     Councillor Mallon asked what reassurances were in place in relation to patients' records if sharing these across the borough.


John explained that the IT systems in use were national systems and security was of the utmost importance. There were issues with the systems allowing the sharing of files and these were being worked through.


·                     Councillor Mallon asked whether there was a shortage of GPs in Bury and whether this was having an impact on recruitment.


John explained that he wasn't aware of any shortfall across the borough but the Federation were relying on the existing stock of GPs to provide the service and not all of them wanted to take up the offer.


·                     Councillor Adams stated that the online registration needed to be made easier as at the moment it was quite difficult to do and would put some people off.

·                     Councillor Walker asked when it was likely that the out of hours service would have full access to medical records.


John stated that he wasn't sure of the timescale but it was being worked on and the issue would be solved.


·                     Councillor Grimshaw referred to the way that access was spread across the borough and asked whether this would be changed as some areas may require more access due to logistics.


John stated that this was the model that had been agreed on for the pilot but this could change after the evaluation exercise was completed.


·                     Councillor Kerrison asked how the extended hours would work for GPs. Would they be extra hours or a change to their working week.


John explained that it would be up to the GP how they worked but all GPs working hours would be monitored.


It was agreed


1. That John be thanked for his presentation


2. That a progress report be brought to the Committee once the evaluation had been carried out.



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