Proposal for urgent care services in Bury approved

Following a six week period of consultation, NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the decision to approve the proposed future model for urgent care in Bury at its Governing Body meeting on 28th March. In making its decision, the CCG’s Governing Body reviewed feedback from local people, stakeholders and health care professionals alike.

Feedback from the consultation period was generally supportive for the proposed model. Over 87% agreed or strongly agreed with the preferred option to provide an enhanced level of access beyond the minimum level required.

The revised proposal for urgent care, which has been approved, includes two main elements:

  1. As mandated in national guidance, plans to develop an Urgent Treatment Centre based at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, running alongside the A&E department. It is planned that the Urgent Treatment Centre will be open for 12 hours and will be located at Fairfield General Hospital as the facilities are already available.
  2. Developing the two current nurse led walk-in centre services along with the three current GP evening and weekend appointment services to become Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs to offer a range of services including GP led (including nurse) walk-in services. The current walk-in centres will remain operating until they evolve into integrated hubs.

Stuart North, Chief Officer for NHS Bury CCG said: “We listened to feedback from local people about the importance they place on walk-in services, and considered this alongside new guidance with a view to developing an appropriate urgent care solution for Bury. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that inputted into our consultation process. Feedback was generally supportive of the proposals, and we welcomed the questions received and positive debate at our public meeting.”

“Taking this valued feedback into consideration, the Governing Body agreed at its meeting this month, to move forward with the proposed model which will include the availability of walk-in services.”

Recommendations approved to close the financial gap expected in 2018/19

The Governing Body discussed financial planning for 2018/19, including plans to close next year’s expected financial gap. The CCG has a statutory duty to live within its financial allocation and to break even each year. Whilst in recent years the CCG has been able to manage expected financial gaps through the use of non-recurrent monies, these opportunities are now very limited and more radical solutions need to be identified to close the circa £7.3 million financial gap (deficit) that is expected in 2018/19.

After carefully exploring all areas of spend, potential savings of around £5.2 million have been identified, reducing the expected financial gap down to £2.1 million.

A number of proposals were agreed; including:

  • A recommendation to end a Vulnerable Patient Scheme, where identified patients are contacted by a GP at the weekend by phone to check on their welfare. The service has very low useage and is deemed poor value for money.
  • A recommendation to cease funding a Clinical Pharmacist Scheme (a limited amount of additional pharmacy support in GP practices). CCGs would not normally fund this kind of resource and evidence regarding the outcomes of the scheme to date has been limited. The scheme was scheduled to end in 12 months’ time.
  • Agree to reduce funding for GP meetings. GPs have a vital role to play in the transformation of health and social care, however, this involvement would be more appropriately funded from Bury’s allocated Transformation Fund.
  • A recommendation to stop the local prescribing of Liothyronine (a drug used to treat an underactive thyroid); and Trimipramine (a drug used to treat depression). These products are listed in national guidance to CCG’s as items which should not routinely be prescribed by GPs.
  • A proposal to no longer routinely prescribe nicotine replacement products was deferred pending further research; but a weight loss drug currently available over the counter without a prescription will no longer be funded by the CCG.
  • A recommendation to treat wet age related macular degeneration with an alternative lower cost drugs was approved subject to a joint approach across Greater Manchester. This approach has the support of primary care clinicians.
  • A recommendation to reconsider the CCG’s policy in relation to IVF. Bury is one of only four CCGs in the country to be fully compliant with The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The CCG is keen to take part in a GM-wide review of provision in this area, however, the Governing Body was recommended to agree to review this provision locally, if a regional review was not timely. Bury CCG will decide at the May Governing Body the decision over IVF.

Mike Woodhead, Interim Chief Finance Officer for NHS Bury CCG said: “The next financial year is going to be particularly challenging for the CCG. Unfortunately, our financial position means we need to make some tough decisions in order to secure the best investment for the funds that we have been allocated to provide high quality care for local people. We have explored all areas of spend and made some recommendations to the Governing Body where it was felt that savings could be achieved whilst minimising the potential overall impact of any changes. Some of the areas we looked at are simply about policing our own policies better and avoiding duplication in the system, however, in order to achieve savings to the scale that are required, we have had to look much harder than this and make some decisions which, whilst they may feel uncomfortable, we believe are appropriate in this challenging financial situation.”

ENDS

Date: 29th March 2018

For press & media enquiries: NHS Bury CCG’s Press Office on 0161 762 3106 or email buccg.communications@nhs.net