Issue - meetings

Improving Access to Primary Care Services

Meeting: 15/02/2022 - Health Policy and Performance Board (Item 36)

36 Improving Access to Primary Care Services pdf icon PDF 126 KB


The Board considered a report from the Chief Commissioner for Halton, which provided an update of Primary Care Services in the Borough and the improvement plans in place.


The Board welcomed Dr David Wilson from Grove House Partnership and Denise Roberts, Deputy Chief Nurse: NHS Halton CCG, who gave a presentation in support of the report, which showed some general practice and out of hours access data.  This included the total number of consultations (face to face, on the telephone and e-consultations); data relating to NHS 111 calls passed to the GP Out of Hours service; and activity at the Urgent Treatment Centres, between August 2019 and December 2021.


It was reported that the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) had provided additional Winter Access Funding (WAF) to support a local Primary Care Winter Access Plan.  The local plan includes four elements (below) and these were outlined in the report:


·         Expansion of General Practice appointments;

·         Consistent offer across all Halton Practices for urgent/same day appointments;

·         Data validation and improvement plans; and

·         Community pharmacy consultation scheme.


Further to the information presented, the following comments/queries were made:


·         Some Members felt the information given did not reflect what they were hearing in the community from constituents, for example experiencing long waiting times on the telephone when trying to get through to a surgery to make a doctor’s appointment;

·         The above scenario often forced patients to use A&E and others just gave up, meaning a diagnosis could be missed;

·         Not all patients needed to see a GP and were triaged to other services; the resources were in place but it was difficult to change peoples’ mind-set that they must see a GP;

·         There were concerns that some clinicians and other hospital staff would leave their professions or reduce their hours due to demands made upon them over the past couple of years resulting from the impacts of Covid-19;

·         All surgeries were contractually obligated to offer e-consultations – links to these were available on practice websites and the NHS App also leads  the user to the e-consultation link.


RESOLVED:  That the Board receives and notes the update provided.