Primary Care Network (PCN) leaders can now receive tailored reports to better understand how their services engage with marginalised or socially excluded groups within their community, following the launch of a new online tool.
The self-assessment tool, launched this week by the charity Friends, Families and Travellers and supported by the NHS, asks users to complete a series of reflective assessments to determine how their primary care services engage with population groups often excluded from care.
These groups, which include travellers, vulnerable migrants, people living with disabilities and sex workers, are often at risk of poor health due to limited access to care, and social marginalisation and exclusion, the document said.
The charity said the tool takes ‘around 10 minutes to complete’ and asks PCN leaders to reflect on the services they provide.
Following the assessment, staff will receive a unique report with recommendations to meet the needs of these groups, specific to their services.
The charity said this ‘will help Primary Care [Networks] to embed action on tackling health inequalities into its everyday activities’.
The tool asks users to consider how their services perform under several categories, such as population health, local resources and living environment.
Staff members within a PCN should also be able to direct people to regional organisations for non-clinical needs, including advice centres and food banks, ‘given that clinical health needs often cannot be fully addressed without recognition’ of these factors, the document said.
PCN leads using the tool will also be asked to consider if their services allow for patients to report societal factors that are detrimental to their health, and if there is a PCN-wide effort to address them.