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NHS scheme delivers massive health gains in Sandwell and West Birmingham

by Léa Legraien
15 September 2017

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A NHS scheme in Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical has significantly benefitted patients’ health.

The Primary Care Commissioning Framework (PCCF) was created in 2016 by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This collaboration between local GP practices and the CCG aims to provide high-quality care to patients, reduce health inequalities and enhance partnership working.

Some of the benefits of the scheme, observed during the first year, were better ways of identifying people with hypertension, which may lead to an extra 318 to 530 years of life within population and cost savings, and a fall in variation between GP practices.

Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:‘We are delighted with the results of the PCCF scheme which is helping to develop general practice, encourage partnership working and deliver improvements in clinical outcomes for patients.

‘Better patient experience is associated with improved health outcomes. We are committed to the development of ‘primary care at scale’ and believe that resourcing and supporting general practices to provide high quality care and services, can provide a solution to a number of problems confronting the NHS.’

In 2016/2017, the scheme included nine standards designed around one or more of five themes, which are access and experience, outcomes and variation, quality and workforce, wellbeing and partnerships and equity.

The standards were chosen through GPs and patients’ views and factors including the profile of the population and the current access to health services.

Sandwell and West Birmingham are more deprived than other areas in England. Life expectancy for males and women is much lower than the England average. With almost 40%, the level of children living in poverty is also higher than the England average, which is 22%.

Dr Ian Sykes, a GP at Oakham Surgery said: ‘The PCCF was designed by primary care, for primary care. Practices are now working much more closely together, are now offering more services to their patients, quality of care has improved, and inequity between practices has been reduced.

‘It has allowed the CCG to invest in primary care, yet still remain in balance, despite the current financial challenge.’

One more standard will be added to the 2017/18 scheme, revolving around the same themes in the 2016/17 PCCF.

The full PCCF scheme can be accessed here.