This week at Newton Abbot racecourse I and about 200 other people met with the new NHS commissioning Group. They talked about their hopes and then we were able to meet them in group sessions. They informed us that this group are made up of 38 Member GP practices that buys care. That in these practices patients in the community with long term illnesses and a higher proportion than nationally. They hope and wish to provide excellent joined up care for everyone. They are hoping that at all times they will have access to the most up to date evidence based treatment i.e. the right service for patients at the time that they need it
South Devon and Torbay Shadow Clinical Commissioning Group
John and I went to the Commissioning Group meeting at the Racecourse. There were a variety of members of the group available to ask questions of how the new process will affect our residents. I chose to find out on a general level whether they would be looking at joined up thinking to ensure holistic patient care. I also chose long term illnesses to find out whether chronic oedema patient care will be commissioned and alongside our Teignbridge councillor Ann Lonsdale I also discussed the proposed provision for mental health with Derek O’Toole.
I was interested to find out if the gap between primary and secondary care will be closed. I am particularly interested whether those with acute illnesses will have more of a provision than the current solution which requires the patient being hospitalised out of county, as this can be very costly to themselves and the patients families. I also supported the discussion on dementia care by asking whether when a patient has a variety of illnesses whether they would care for the patient as a whole rather than bouncing from department to department worrying about finances rather than the patient.
My second interest was to ensure the crisis arrangements are available when needed and not just on a 9-5 basis Monday to Friday as it is often outside these hours that help is needed, and finally to ask whether the overlap between services reportedly supporting carers are effective, not costly and reaching the carers that need the help.
In all of these area Derek was very positive in wishing to develop good enough care than in a year or two time other providers will be coming to see our good practice and copy it. Andy said they hoped to produce services they will be proud of.
John was very interested in knowing how our local Kingsteignton practice will be developed and how the new look will support the residents and whether it will look any different. Dr Greatorex confirmed to both John and Teignbridge Cllr Lambert that they wish to take on board patients comments to improve the service they currently provide and use this to share good practice within the 38 member GP practices.
John also spoke to the commissioner in charge of finances and confirmed that there are less layers of management so costs are reduced and that clinical excellence will be the way forward. Patients should be able to get access to the right services that they need. Safety and Quality is more important than targets and they would like to hear about your experiences in patient care either good or bad.
Also it supports our recent question to residents about the need to buy the Learning Centre as their research shows that being proactive by having open spaces, allotments
I then also discussed lymphoedema and chronic oedema with questions to Dr Eileen Deakin Clinical Lead for Long term Illnesses.
Q. Rowcroft are offering support to patients in the area for lymphoedema. How can this be commissioned particularly as their model is commissioned in other areas.
A. This is something I have a great interest in as I have problems with my lower limb arterial. At the moment it has been commissioned for this year but we will be looking at it again next year. Of course there are three different parts not just lymphoedaema there is also chronic oedema and leg ulcers. Whilst some care is common other care is not. Some care is obviously patient self care which needs to be delivered.
EF I agree and now some doctors are seeing patients in their surgery
Answer – just to measure their leg and if it has gone up they need more care.
Q. Sometimes it is not recognised by the doctors
Answer agreed that this was often the case.
Q. How can we ensure patients get the care they need and the service commissioned.
A. I have concerns about wasteful practice and I am not happy that my nurses will be offering services that they will not become experienced in.
We wish them luck and will follow with interest