News, Primary Care News

ICBs to pilot new ways of optimising primary care and further deliver on the Fuller Stocktake vision

A letter from Dr Amanda Doyle, national director of primary care and community services at NHS England, and Ed Garratt, chief executive of NHS Suffolk and North Essex ICB to integrated care boards, proposes plans to test new ways of working to ‘optimise the general practice operating model’ across urgent and proactive care services and further deliver on the Fuller Stocktake vision.

NHS England highlighted plans for new ways of working within primary care, focusing on improving the operational use of data, optimising use of capacity, using “dedicated multi-disciplinary teams to support patients with more complex needs”, and taking advantage of digital tools to support targeted service delivery.

Addressed to the chief executives of participating ICBs, the letter details outcomes from an NHS leadership meeting on 1 May, where a “proposal from a group of ICBs” to test new ways of working within general practice was discussed. It invites participating ICBs working “closely together” with a small number of primary care networks to “determine the operational changes and improvements that would optimise the general practice operating model”, as well as helping practices to meet demand.

The plans are to generate and share evidence and data from the collaboration; to gain a better understanding of how to support general practice in the long term to deliver the Fuller Stocktake vision; and to evaluate the impact of “key interventions” like the use of digital tools, to help support targeted service delivery.

The specific aims are to improve operational insight and data, evaluate the impact of interventions including the use of tools such as process automation and risk stratification, test flexible staffing models, and ways to reduce the administrative burden.

Plans are for the test to run for two years, with NHS England requesting that participating PCNs demonstrate a range of different demographic and geographical characteristics, that “reasonable” resources are committed to generate “robust data”, and that key stakeholders have opportunities to contribute to the findings.

In other news from primary care, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has published its primary care strategy for 2024-2027, sharing priorities including developing a digital futures team with the intention of shaping technology choices, and enhancing researching and reporting capability.

Also from March, John Kosobucki, CEO at OX.DH, shared with us more about the company’s acceptance to the NHS Tech Innovation Framework and what this meant for future plans around patient-centred tech and “transparent, seamless, efficient, and integrated care solutions”.