Two pilot projects offering different and more flexible access to care services for patients in Oxfordshire started this month following a successful bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund earlier this year.
The Early Home Visiting Support service began in June in North Oxfordshire, servicing 11 practices and a population of 104,902 people. The service is now also underway in the North East of the county, supporting 10 practices and 85,000 patients. In its first six weeks clinicians visited 138 patients saving time for GPs and providing patients with a more responsive service.
Email consultations have also begun at two practices in Abingdon with good feedback received from patients. The first person to have an email consultation was a 90 year old patient who found the service very helpful. In the first two weeks 40 routine and 24 urgent email consultations were conducted, with 80 per cent of patients dealt with without the need to attend surgeries.
These are two of a range of projects being tested this year which include: Neighbourhood Access Hubs, Early Home Visiting Support, Care Navigators, Email Consultations and an online project offering a Local Health website. All schemes will be rolled out over the summer.
At the end of the year, the pilot projects will be evaluated by primary care specialists at the University of Oxford, and their impact analysed by GPs and OCCG to ensure the lessons learned can be applied across the county.
You can read more about the schemes in the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund News which will be issued on a regular basis by OCCG to keep you up to date on how the GP projects are progressing – see here to read the first issue