Clinical commissioning groups are securing seamless care for patients

LLPNHS Clinical Commissioners are today launching their new publication Leading local partnerships: how CCGs are driving integration for their patients and local populations.

‘Leading Local Partnerships’ profiles just some of the clinical commissioning groups across England who, despite still being relatively new organisations, are already driving new and innovative models of care that put the patient at the heart of the system, and are improving the health and wellbeing of their local populations.

Integrating healthcare is critical to a safe and sustainable NHS, and CCGs are uniquely placed to use their clinical expertise, their roots in the community and their system leadership role to work in partnership across the health and care system to do just that and make a different for their patients. Without CCGs to harness this powerful combination it couldn’t happen.

Leading Local Partnerships is introduced by NHSCC co-chairs Dr Steve Kell and Dr Amanda Doyle who said:

“As GPs we know that we and our patients are sometimes hindered by a fragmented system. We know that while we can treat the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that affected an individual for year, there has traditionally been little we could easily do about the damp patch at home that was exacerbating the problem.

As clinical commissioners, we know that we are leading changes to reduce that fragmentation and ensure patients get all the support they need. This report is proof. It showcases 20 examples of CCGs joining with partners, not just from social care, but from the voluntary and private sectors, to improve the health of their populations.”

The report shows how CCGs are:

Caring for people closer to home

  • In Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Redbridge, community teams are supporting people at home when they fall ill. It means that fewer people have to be admitted to hospital
  • In Greenwich, “care navigators” are supporting those with complex conditions. The navigators can help direct people to services that will keep them well without the need for a visit to the doctor or to hospital

Ensuring people get the right support at the right time

  • In Hammersmith and Fulham, mental health support is being made more readily available in acute healthcare settings
  • In Warrington, staff from the local home improvement agency are visiting people at home, accompanied by a pharmacist. Through this, potential problems with an individual’s living environment can be identified early – and resolved before they affect health
  • In Bexley, an integrated discharge team makes sure people have the support they need when they come home from hospital

Caring more effectively for frail older people

  • In Cornwall, the CCG is working with Age UK to help vulnerable people meet their goals: whether it’s walking their dog on the beach, going shopping, or setting up a coffee morning
  • On the Isle of Wight, an Alzheimer’s Café run with the voluntary and private sectors is providing an informal setting in which carers and those with dementia can get together and support one another

Making care more efficient

  • In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the Connecting Care programme means that professionals across health and social care will all have access to the same information about a patient. It means that patients don’t have to tell their story several times over to several different people

Helping people to protect and take control of their own health

  • In Gloucestershire, a weight management referral programme enables those who are struggling to control their weight to attend a private sector slimming club free of charge
  • In Fylde and Wyre, breast and colorectal cancer patients can take part in an exercise programme at the local YMCA.

Dr Michael Dixon, senior advisor to NHSCC and Chair of NHS Alliance, said of the report “CCGs are involved in a wide range of roles ranging from improving hospital services, organising contracts and tenders to controlling budgets. Their prime role, however, is to make a real difference to services provided in or near a patient’s home. This report shows that they are already beginning to make that difference.’

“Clinical commissioning is about translating the hopes and aspirations of patients and their frontline clinicians into everyday practice. Top of those hopes and aspirations for our patients must be the creation of high-quality, comprehensive and integrated services provided in the community which puts the patient at the centre. That is what this document is about.”

29 October 2014

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