To receive a presentation on the background to the Clinical Commissioning Group and an introduction to the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership (ICP)
The Committee received a presentation which provided background information on the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and an introduction to the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). The presentation slides were set out at Agenda pages 27 to 44.
The presentation was delivered by Sam Burrows (Deputy Chief Officer, Berkshire West CCG) and Graham Ebers (Deputy Chief Executive, Wokingham Borough Council).
The presentation provided background information on:
· the Berkshire West CCG, which was established by the Health and Social Care Act (2012);
· the development of Primary Care Networks and Neighbourhoods within the Wokingham Borough;
· linkages with the wider geographical framework – Health and Wellbeing Boards, Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership and the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Integrated Care System.
During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:
· How did the ambulance and fire and rescue services fit within the structure set out in the presentation? It was confirmed that the ambulance service covered BOB in addition to East Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service was a key partner in the design and development of neighbourhoods, along with the voluntary sector.
· What was the process for developing response times for the different services? It was confirmed that response times were based on clinical need. Across Berkshire West, £2m per annum was spent on rapid response teams.
· How many Primary Care Networks covered the Wokingham Borough? It was confirmed that there were four Primary Care Networks (PCN). PCNs were groupings of GP practices, community services, social care and the voluntary sector which planned and coordinated care within a neighbourhood comprising 30,000 to 50,000 patients.
· Access to GP appointments was an important local issue. What steps were being taken to reduce waiting times for appointments? It was confirmed that measures were being introduced to ensure same-day appointments for more urgent cases. In relation to other appointments, it was felt that waiting up to three weeks for an appointment was not acceptable. A national access review was under way to address this issue.
· What measures were being considered to recruit and retain staff, especially in light of the potential impact of Brexit? It was confirmed that, as mentioned earlier, the cost of living in the South East provided additional challenges for recruitment and retention. A number of measures were being implemented to address this issue.
· What were the current pressures on the Royal Berkshire Hospital? It was confirmed that A&E patient volumes were generally static. However, the complexity of A&E cases had increased over the past five years. There was some evidence that the birth rate across the CCG area was falling. However, this may change with the significant number of new houses to be built over the next ten years.
· Were there any plans to deliver GP services on Sundays? It was confirmed that GP advice could be accessed on Sundays via the 111 service or attendance at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for more serious cases.
· Were there any concerns about recruitment and retention of GPs, especially in the light of Brexit? There was anecdotal evidence of shortages of doctors and nurses across the region which could be exacerbated following Brexit.
· What progress was being made in relation to the joining up of different IT systems used by different organisations? It was confirmed that, since 2014, the Connected Care IT programme had introduced a common IT platform which meant that GPs and social workers could access patient records quickly and in confidence. This initiative was very much “ahead of the game” compared to other parts of the country.
The Committee also discussed the potential benefits of a wider public understanding of which medical practitioners could prescribe which medicines, e.g. doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, etc. Also, under what circumstances, if any, was it possible to self-prescribe.
1) the presentation on the CCG and the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership be noted;
2) Sam Burrows and Graham Ebers be thanked for attending the meeting to answer Member questions;
3) a further briefing paper be requested, setting out details on which medical practitioners could prescribe which medicines.