Patient Urged to Play a Bigger Role in Health Care
The Locality’s Forum has been busy organising meetings to inform patients how health services are being developed and improved in the city. Last November, a workshop was run to highlight the benefits of patient participation groups (PPGs). It was held during a locality Forum meeting attended by more than 30 people at the Kings Centre, Osney Mead. At the workshop there was a lively discussion to explain how PPGs can make a difference to help improve patient care.
Michael Leech, Chair of the Forum said: ‘Not all GP practices in the city have PPGs. Our aim is to encourage patients and GP practices to work together to set up PPGs as they allow people to share their views on health services they use. This feedback can help practices improve their services and facilities. I would ask anyone interested in joining a PPG to contact their local GP practice.’
The meeting was also an opportunity for Rosie Rowe, Head of Provider Development (Out of Hospital Care) at OCCG to update people on how the Primary Care Development Strategy was progressing. Rosie explained how commissioners were taking on a bigger role in shaping GP services in Oxfordshire. Rosie said this was necessary to enable GP services to cope with the increasing demand and to ensure that they develop services so patients can access care as flexibly as possible, such as looking at ways of making better use of technology like booking appointments online.
December’s Locality Meeting
There was a busy agenda at the City Locality Forum meeting held in December. There was an update on a pilot project to engage ‘hard-to-reach’ groups to help increase uptake of NHS health checks in some local surgeries. Maggie Dent, Equality and Access Manager said her team were working with seven practices and making telephone calls to people aged between 40 and 50 years old who lived in areas of deprivation to encourage them to take part in the checks. This was in addition to letters of invitation being sent out to them direct. The pilot is still ongoing and will be assessed in the next few months.
This was followed by a presentation on the commissioning cycle and the timetable for reviewing planned care with the involvement of patient advisory groups. The meeting also included a talk on the OCCG’s current financial position and the challenges facing commissioners over the next 12 months which sparked a lively question and answer session.
MSK Treatments Under the Spotlight
The Locality was delighted with the response from GPs who took part in the MSK Treatments Education event held in December at the Kings Centre, Osney Mead. The evening was attended by around 40 GPs and the majority were from across Oxford City, who through a Q&A session, discussed topics including exercise and current treatments for common MSK conditions like hip and back pain. The event highlighted the importance of patients taking vitamin D and calcium to reduce the risk of developing conditions like osteoporosis. At the event, GPs requested that self-referral be considered as part of the plans to integrate MSK services. They were told by Dr Rob Russ, Musculoskeletal Clinical Lead at OCCG said that this was already being explored under the plans.
Information about the Locality
There are 24 GP practices in the Locality with a population of nearly 200,000. The Clinical Director is Dr David Chapman who is supported by three deputies, Dr Karen Kearley, Dr Merlin Dunlop and Dr Andy Valentine.