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Innovative Primary Care Home model to be expanded to over 100 sites

An innovative primary care model designed to improve care by giving patients a “single integrated and multidisciplinary team” is set to be expanded to over 100 sites next year, NHE has been told.

Speaking at the Primary Care Conference in Salford, Dr James Kingsland, president of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), explained in detail the idea behind the Primary Care Home (PCH) programme, a model that is currently being tested at 15 sites covering 50,000 patients across the country and will expand to 100 sites covering five million people by next year.

The model, which was launched in October 2015, aligns closely with the Multispecialty Community Provider vanguards, and aims to provide care to a defined, registered population by using an integrated workforce spanning primary, secondary and social care that can be administered to patients without referral through a GP.

With the use of evidential data, NAPC also found that the optimum number of patients served within PCH compared to the staff providing care was 100-150 staff to 30,000-50,000 people.

The model is hoped to improve morale and quality of care through the creation of “Primary Care Homes” buildings where patients can be immediately referred for specialist care from first contact, taking strain off GPs and cutting down on referral time.

Kingsland explained: “Everybody needs care but they do not always need to see a physician with 28 years’ worth of experience – they may need an optometrist, a social worker, a third sector worker straight away.

“We know that 25% of all GP contacts are administrative, so we’re wasting an awful lot of time with skilled physicians doing administrative duties in surgery.”

The president of NAPC continued to say that 50% of those GP contacts who do need care are better seen by another health or social care or third sector professional, but that “often GPs still act as a broker who have to see patients first”.

He added: “We need to get rid of this and get in the right workforce who can provide first contact care to patients immediately.”

Chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens also recognised the benefits of the PCH model, saying: “This programme offers an innovative approach to strengthening and redesigning primary care, centred around the needs of local communities, and tapping into the expertise of a wide array of health professionals.

“This will be another step towards greater integration between primary and secondary care and to providing personal population-orientated primary care where physical, mental and social care is integrated around the needs of communities, particularly older frail people with long term conditions.”

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editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >