A thank you message from Cathy Elliott, Chair of NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Deputy Chair of the Integrated Care Partnership - West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership Board
Many thanks to you and all colleagues for your planning, preparation and attendance at the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) engagement session and Board on Tuesday 21 November in Leeds.
The engagement session in the morning was extremely helpful, especially as it was ahead of the focused Board discussion in the afternoon on primary care services. You can access the papers and watch the meeting of the Board on our website.
It was wonderful to see over forty people at the engagement session, including general practice managers and primary care network directors, bringing their thoughts and experiences into the room to contribute to plans for primary care across the system.
This was supported by a presentation delivered by Healthwatch colleagues around people’s experience of accessing care. From the presentation given by West Yorkshire Voice it was good to hear the positive feedback from general practice staff (Rebecca and Natalie) who have worked at Burley Park Medical Centre in Leeds for many years.
It was clear that their positive working environment has a direct impact on the good patient care they deliver, including good levels of communication within the team and with patients.
Other general practice feedback was equally as positive, for example, in Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, the helpfulness of staff and timely responses for patient needs was highlighted. The importance of good quality accessible information also shone through.
It was also interesting to hear about the work taking place in Calderdale to support refugees and people seeking asylum, and the joined-up support between the general practice and St Augustine’s Refugee Centre – it was inspiring. The session reiterated that there is fantastic general practice care taking place and some good learning to share about the brilliant work colleagues do.
The challenges around accessing support for primary care and how this is a priority area for improving health outcomes set out in our Joint Forward Plan was extremely useful to highlight. The roundtable discussions reflected some of the areas we all want to see
improve, for example, how we free up doctors’ time with less bureaucracy. This was a productive conversation and the challenges to overcome were noted.
I am very keen to see the engagement with primary care colleagues continue. It is important we support and develop general practice and primary care networks so they can deliver the care they and their patients want to see. It is also important that we do this together.
We can of course do this by being strong advocates for primary care, by sharing good practice, building in community models with the voluntary, community social enterprise (VCSE) sector, and working with the public to give assurance to people and communities
that our colleagues are working incredibly hard and see more people now than ever before. Please stay connected about the important work you do so the Board of NHS West Yorkshire can continue to be an active supporter of our West Yorkshire Primary and Community Care Services.
I am grateful for your contribution to the session which supported NHS West Yorkshire Board decision-making to further our work together on providing the best care possible for people and communities.
Letter from Ian Holmes, Director of Strategy and Partnerships for NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board
NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Board: Primary Care Focus
Thank you for your letter dated the 23 November about the primary care engagement session and the Board focus on Primary Care at its meeting on the 21 November 2023.
I hope you found the session and report helpful which aimed to give colleagues and members of the public at the Board an understanding of the challenges in accessing appointments and the national requirements for Recovering Access to Primary Care Services.
I hope it provided a useful overview of the work happening in our local places to support people to access the care they need. Colleagues are working tremendously hard, and I hope this came across at the Board.
The pre-engagement session provided a good opportunity to remind us of the many positive patient and staff experiences. It was noted that variation across West Yorkshire exists, and we are keen to share learning and good practice from those that have introduced new ways of working which is making a positive difference to people’s lives.
Empowering patients through effective communication and enabling local mechanisms for listening to their views is a prerequisite of the Recovery Plan and an area that was also highlighted during the pre-engagement session.
Our Access Improvement and Oversight Group will continue to lead this area of work and have oversight of the implementation of the plan alongside quality improvement. The group will also consider actions, share new innovative models of delivery supported through the communications access recovery enabling workstream.
Increased demand and workforce challenges continue to have an impact on resilience in general practice. This was raised at the Board and reflects the scope of the access challenges and the impact on service delivery for colleagues.
The great work progressed to date is reflected in our performance against NHS England asks and the requirements of the Recovery Plan.
The primary to secondary care interface was noted as a key element of the Primary Care Access Recovery Plan and it was helpful that the Board adopted the Royal College of GPs Guidance. Local clinical leaders in our place are empowered to drive this forward. We are keen to learn and share improvements in this area as quickly as possible and the West Yorkshire Clinical Care and Professional Forum will provide support and clinical leadership to this important area of work. It is being discussed at the forum meeting on Tuesday 5 December 2023.
The recommended actions, supported by the Board will be discussed in more detail at the NHS West Yorkshire Fuller Delivery Board in December 2023 with particular emphasis on:
- Supporting transformation and the development of new models for fairer access through integrated neighbourhood approaches
- System level and place actions to embed the findings from the Universal Healthcare Inquiry report.
- The West Yorkshire Access Quality Improvement and Oversight Group and Primary Care Workforce Steering Group, aligned to the Fuller Delivery Board will continue to drive and support the Access and Primary Care Workforce system priorities.
Thank you again for focusing on primary care at the NHS West Yorkshire Board Meeting. We are grateful for the time given to this very important area of care.
Director of Strategy and Partnerships
NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board