Londonwide LMCs is committed to changing the narrative from individual practices are to blame for patients struggling to get appointments to the more accurate reasoning that pressures on general practice are due to system-wide problems.
Last year we began piloting General Practice Alert State (GPAS) in North East London. This began in Waltham Forest and has now been rolled out to Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The remaining NEL borough, City and Hackney, will be joining the ranks shortly.
This is a work in progress, and it is acknowledged that more practices need to sign-up. In London you will appreciate that the scale of the Capital has made this a hard task, however, we are pleased to report that the remaining five sectors now have pilots in each of their areas: North Central – Barnet, North West – Ealing and Hounslow, South East – Bexley, South West – Wandsworth.
Closing the evidence gap with secondary care
This digital reporting system requires less than five minutes of practice time per week and the report provides a weekly rating of the pressures similar to the Operational Pressures Escalation Levels (OPEL) system used by hospital trusts and ambulance services. We can then use this data to show where the pressures are in comparison to the wider system.
Thank you to all the practices currently providing their data on a weekly basis.
The data will be coming to Londonwide LMCs, your trusted partner and the voice of general practice across London, and we will be sharing back to the system the information completely anonymously on a borough level.
This means that we are completely in control of the information, but for general practice to remain in control we need you!
One of the contacts should then complete the weekly return of six questions for the practice. This information will give Londonwide LMCs high quality data to evidence the pressures on general practice across the Capital in real time.
We are also offering you the chance to learn more about GPAS and to ask any questions at our free virtual lunch and learn presentation on 29 November at 1pm. If you would like to attend please email LEAD@lmc.org.uk with GPAS – L and L session in the subject area and your name, email address and practice name.
Don’t just take our word for it
Joining the session is Sue Byrne, Practice Manager at the Granville Medical Centre in Redbridge. Sue, openly admits that she was sceptical about the time it would take to fill out the form on a weekly basis and how effective this would be as leverage for general practice within the wider system. However after hearing from Dr Elliott Singer (Project Director for GPAS and Medical Director at Londonwide LMCs), Sue was onboard:
“When Elliott attended our Practice Manager Forum, I wasn’t convinced that this would be as easy as he was portraying. However, I am happy to report that it is a 5-minute, at most, a week job and you get a report back at the end of the week detailing how the borough is doing. Aside from this we are also using this to inform our staffing levels at the practice. It is without doubt, beneficial and exactly as it is described.” – Sue Byrne, Practice Manager.
GPAS is being rolled out across the country and ultimately LMCs and the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee will have access to a national dashboard which we will all be contributing to. So come along to the session and ask Sue about responding to the six simple questions. We have just made the instructions for gathering the appointment data available online, please have a look and see how easy it is to do.
Working together will ensure success.