CCG News Bulletin - July 2015

Newsletter banner 

Chair’s Welcome

Chair AmrikWelcome to the new CCG Bulletin which aims to provide you with the latest news from NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  We hope you find these regular updates useful in keeping up to date with what is going on in your CCG. In this edition you will read about a number of exciting developments that are be happening including the opening of a new Urgent Care Centre, our plans for joining up local health and social  care and our new responsibility for commissioning primary care services. If you have any feedback on the content of the newsletter or if you would like to find out more about a particular article please do get in touch

Also in this issue:

New Urgent Care Centre
360 Stakeholder Review Survey 2015
Annual Report 2014/15 now available
Dementia Friendly Walsall
Planning for winter pressures
Personal Health Budgets
Primary Care Joint Commissioning
GP Federations
Joining up Health and Social Care
Dates for your diary

New Urgent Care Centre

Urgent Care CentreWork is underway for a new Urgent Care model in Walsall. This follows the public consultation on the future of local emergency care services that we held last year. The consultation, which ran from May to August 2014, was in two parts. As the proposed redevelopment of Walsall town centre means the building that currently houses Walsall Walk-in Health Centre in Market Square will be demolished, we asked residents where they thought the service should be located in the future.

A new Urgent Care Centre will be located near to the town centre on Bridgeman Street and provide treatment for most injuries and illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening . The new model of care has been designed to strengthen integration of services across the urgent care pathway and between the different agencies who provide these services. This will help our patients and the public better understand how to contact and use the most appropriate service to meet their needs.

Plans for the new centre have been shared with patients and public representatives, and organisations which represent carers, young people and people with disabilities, for feedback about the development including design and accessibility.

We will continue to keep you updated with progress on the developments.

360 Stakeholder Review Survey 2015

surveyThank you to everyone who took part in the 360 Stakeholder Review Survey 2015. All CCGs across the country are required to take part in the survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of NHS England. 

The overall response rate was 67% which varied from GPs, providers, the health and wellbeing board, patient representatives, Healthwatch, the local authority, including the Overview and Scrutiny committee, neighbouring CCGs and the voluntary sector.

We value the feedback we receive, it offers a wealth of information which will advise our organisational development and help us to evaluate the strength of our relationships and where further work is needed. It also helps us to inform assurance conversations we have with NHS England about how effective our commissioning plans and processes are in practice. This helps to build confidence in the CCG and so improve quality and outcomes for patients.

We are now digesting the feedback we’ve received and we will share this and the learning from it with you in the next issue of this newsletter.   

Annual Report 2014/15 now available

Annual reportThe Annual Report details the activities we undertook during 2014/15 and highlights the approach we have taken for commissioning community, hospital and mental health services across Walsall for 2014/15. You can download the full Annual Report and Accounts here.

Dementia Friendly Walsall

Dementia FriendlyWe have been working closely with local partners to increase the numbers of people diagnosed with dementia and provide support for patients and their carer’s. Increasing awareness of dementia is a key part of CCGs delivery of the Prime Minister’s Challenge 2020.

As part of our plans, a scheme has been commissioned by the CCG in partnership with Walsall Council to work with local businesses to raise awareness of the Dementia. This includes shop staff and others being trained to look out for and help people with dementia and improved signage so people feel more able to get out and about rather than staying at home. The scheme, which is now in it's second year, is being delivered by Accord Group’s Pathways 4 Life team and the Alzheimer’s Society.

We have also strengthened our wider dementia strategy by developing an integrated approach which includes work to increase early diagnosis by GPs; in fact Walsall reached the national 67% target in 2014 ahead of target. Work also includes commissioning dementia cafes, community support pathways, and support for older people with mental health difficulties being admitted to hospital. For more information about the Dementia Strategy please email Michael Hurt

Planning for winter pressures

Planning for winterWe may be in the middle of summer but work has already started on making plans for managing the increase in demand for health services during winter. Winter is traditionally always a busy time for the NHS, especially for A&E departments which have to deal with an increase in injuries and illnesses at that time of year.

 A Systems Resilience Group has already been established with key partners from across Walsall and we are collectively looking at putting robust plans in place to cope with the increased demand this winter. The group is tasked with reviewing on-going performance of acute, community, social care, ambulance and independent sector services delivered in Walsall. Walsall CCG has previously commissioned additional ambulance services intended to manage patients at home, supplementary GP opening hours at weekends and bank holidays, redesign of community services and improved support to nursing homes.

There is a real commitment from all the partners in health and social care to work together to deliver a winter plan that will support our providers to offer services that ensure patients get the best possible care.

Personal Health Budgets

PHBThe take up of Personal Health Budgets has continued to improve across Walsall. There are currently 25 individuals in receipt of a Personal Health Budget including people with learning disabilities and children.

A Personal Health Budget is a sum of money allocated to spend on a person’s health and wellbeing needs, as determined by an assessment. This allows the individual to have more choice and flexibility about the way care services are delivered and receive more personal care which fits with an individual's life and offers support that is right for them. A support plan is developed with the individual and significant others to identify outcomes that they would like to achieve and services are designed around these outcomes.

Since April 2014, anyone receiving NHS Continuing Care has been entitled to ask to receive a Personal Health Budget. To ensure that the money is being spent appropriately, the CCG regularly undertakes audits and reviews. To find out more about Personal Health Budgets visit the NHS Choices website.

Primary Care Joint Commissioning 

primary careThe CCG has received approval to jointly commission local GP services with NHS England.

In January this year, all CCGs were given the opportunity to opt for one of three options for differing levels of ‘co-commissioning’: ‘delegated commissioning’, ‘joint commissioning’ or ‘greater involvement’. NHS Walsall CCG applied for and have been granted joint commissioning’ so will work closely with NHS England to jointly agree the budget and contracts with local GP Practices.

The announcement, which was made by NHS England in April this year, means that patients and clinicians will have more involvement in deciding how local GP services are developed, including those provided out of hospital.

Now a joint committee has been set up with representatives from the CCG, NHS England, the local authority and Healthwatch, to jointly commission GP services for local people. The committee also plays an important role in managing any potential conflicts of interest under the new joint arrangements. Meetings are held in public on a monthly basis at our head office, Jubilee House and members of the public and wider stakeholders are invited to attend. A full agenda will be available on the website ahead of the meetings.  

GP Federations

GP Federations As part of our strategic commitment to develop the provider landscape we have launched our Primary Care Transformation programme.  A transformation fund has been set up to assist GP practices to secure independent consultancy support, at arms-length to the CCG, in areas such as business planning, governance, engagement, project management and to understand the benefits of working together to maximise available skills and resources. Other projects to support primary care transformation, encourage collaboration, sharing of innovation and best practice, peer support and networking include: 

  • Practice Manager Forums: formally engaging with Practice Managers to support sustainability of general practice and primary care delivered at scale, workforce development and support quality improvement
  • Practice Nurse Forums: formally engaging with Practice Nurses to support clinical protocol development, training, service development, improved communications
  • Productive General Practice: proven easy to use framework which is practical and flexibly designed; enabling staff to take a fresh look at changing needs of patients and develop services that will improve patient and carer experience, staff experience and productivity
  • GP Patient Access: a GP telephone triage system which supports general practice to manage capacity and demand, improves efficiency and shortens the time taken to get a GP appointment
  • Transformation events: a range of events have been delivered throughout the year to share innovation and support general practice to manage change and work differently.

As a result of the Primary Care Transformation Programme, a large number of GP practices in Walsall have expressed interest in forming into Federations. A GP Federation is a group of practices and primary care teams working together, sharing responsibility for developing and delivering high quality, patient focussed services for their local community.

Two federations are now in the early stages of development in Walsall and they are looking at suitable organisational models. We will keep you updated on developments. 

Better Care Fund

Joining up Health and Social CarePlans to further integrate health and social care services in Walsall have been given the go-ahead by NHS England.

The CCG has already been working closely with partners in the local authority, not for profit and voluntary sector to develop an ambitious plan – supporting people to stay healthy, recover quickly following an illness and ensure that care and treatment is received in the most appropriate place. 

Although not ‘new’ money, the Better Care Fund is a government initiative that was first announced in June 2013, setting out an ambitious challenge for health and social care organisations to work together and join up services through the creation of a single pooled budget.

The Better Care Fund will be used locally to support people who are currently, or who are at risk for becoming, heavily dependent of health and adult social care services to live as independently as possible. The scale and scope of the fund has been determined by the Walsall Health and Well-Being Board in line with national conditions.

Commitment to the Better Care Fund has been made by all partners in Walsall and a plan has been developed and agreed by NHS England. The fund provides an opportunity to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Walsall, giving them control, placing them at the centre of their own care and support and providing them with a better service and better quality of life. The Kings Fund has produced this useful video to show how more joined up services can work will work better together in the future.

Dates for your diary

Dates for your diaryGoverning Body Meeting: You are invited to attend the next NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body meeting. The public meeting will take place on Thursday 30th July commencing at 3pm until 5pm at Jean Beeley conference room, Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, WS3 1LZ. The agenda and meeting papers will be available on the CCG website and questions from the public are welcome.

Annual General Meeting: You are also invited to attend our Annual General Meeting (AGM) that will take place in September. This is an opportunity to hear about our work and performance during the last year and our plans for the future. More information about the event will be sent out nearer the time.