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Wessex Primary Care Project

Published: 11 October, 2017

“Wessex GPs thought that 35% of patients they had seen could have been seen and properly managed by somebody else.”

The Wessex Primary Care Project has examined the problems facing general practice across Wessex by looking at the key areas of population demographics, demand for services and the workforce. The project was concerned with solutions which will work within the current contractual model of independent GP partnerships – individually, within locality groups or as federations.

The summary report describes a range of initiatives to allow general practice to meet the demands of it from the population, the system and the government. The report focuses on better management of demand and workload, and an examination of new models of care through creating multi-professional teams who can meet the need of patients in general practice.

Highlights of the project include:

  • A questionnaire to identify the numbers of GP consultations which could have been undertaken by another healthcare professional. The results showed that Wessex GPs thought that 35% of patients they had seen could have been seen and properly managed by somebody else.
  • With the LMC, development of a RAG tool to highlight likely workforce changes (eg retirement) in 2 years and 5 years, to encourage forward planning and succession-planning.
  • Development of a Skills Matrix tool to show what overlaps in skills there are across a number of healthcare roles which could be used in general practice, to encourage the full use of staff to the top of their skill set and registration.
  • Building on the results of the questionnaire, and using national average data for consultations by age and sex, we developed a workforce estimation tool to calculate the possible number of consultations which could be undertaken by other staff, how much time this would take and at what cost. This is completely scalable from one practice to a whole STP footprint.
  • All three software tools have now been developed into a GP web-portal. The tools are available free of charge, but there is a small charge for the creation of logins and for any demonstrations or training for practices outside of Wessex. You can view the software demonstration webinar here.

Last updated: 21 May, 2018

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