Cambs LMC needs your help!
We have developed a Covid-19 GP Capacity Calculator and Workload Transfer Survey that we need you to complete
We are doing this in collaboration with our LMC colleagues in Beds & Herts, as a mechanism of challenging the false images of general practice being portrayed by NHSE and parts of the media. We know this means additional work for you, but we need you to help us turn anecdote into data, to drive the incentive to invest money into local practices this winter
The survey asks you to compare one week’s activity in September 2019 to one week’s activity in September 2020 and to answer a number of questions about the transfer of work from acute trusts to general practice
We need one response per practice – We are only looking at GP hours this time
This is because we envisage pricing up the capacity gap and workload transfer into GP hours per week, and GPs per patch. We fully understand the myriad of roles that our GP nurse and HCA colleagues undertake, many of them still face to face. We are aware of the potential for additional PCN roles in the future. But the lion’s share of the digital transformation and workload transfer happening now, has landed on GP colleagues.
Why are we asking you to complete the Covid-19 GP Capacity Calculator and Workload Transfer Survey?
We know you have been working incredibly hard to keep your services as accessible as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. We now need your help to demonstrate exactly how hard you have been working.
Six months ago, NHS England encouraged all surgeries to undertake virtual triage of their patients as the first point of contact, to minimise numbers having to be physically brought into surgeries, lest it put patients or staff (that you carry responsibility for) at risk.
You have risen to that challenge, we know you are not closed. NHS Digital data demonstrates the tens of thousands of appointments you are collectively undertaking every day. However, sections of the media continue to damage GP and practice staff morale by alleging that general practice is not operating at its full capacity.
We know different. We know you have staff in at risk groups, and that you changed your operating models overnight. We know you have struggled to source adequate PPE and keep your staff and patients safe. We suspect you are operating at or near full capacity, managing those patients waiting to access specialist care or investigations, now increasingly anxious and frustrated around their unmet need, transferring that frustration to you.
We know how hard it is to care for patients in the midst of so much uncertainty, and potential increased risk, with no direct additional funding to cope this winter.
A&E Departments are being given new triage pathways to divert appropriate patients into primary care; 111 are receiving funding to assist this.
Where is the funding to resource that ED/111 increased patient flow into practices?
Hospitals are being encouraged to discharge patients asap to free up beds for those most in need; community trusts are receiving monies to assist this pathway to assess ongoing community care inside the patient’s home.
Where is the funding to resource the GP caring for the increased early discharge complex caseload at the bedside?
Politicians may point to PCNs and promised funding towards additional roles, but in reality we suspect that the majority of these roles are yet to materialise. We suspect the digital changes in working post-Covid mean the lion’s share is falling onto GPs themselves. NHS England has advised CCGs what monies they will receive from now until next Spring. Unlike other parts of the NHS, there are no additional funds for general practice. NHS England has made clear that any funding for practices will need to be determined locally.
We are pushing for local funding, but we need evidence to back up our anecdotal claims of how hard you are working, and the pressure you are under. The plural of anecdote is not data. We need to plug this gap, and we need your help to do it.
This is why we are coming to you now. We appreciate that this means more work, but our hope is that this will help us seek increased local funding with evidence to back up that request.
So, what do we need you to do?
- Compare one week’s activity in September 2020 to one week’s activity in September 2019 and answer a number of questions about the transfer of work from acute trusts to general practice.