Asking for Views on GP Services
Around thirty members of the public took part in a lively discussion in September about the future provision of GP services in Oxfordshire. The discussion was an opportunity for patients to be part of a period of engagement activity undertaken by OCCG as part of its priority focus on primary care development.
Rosie Rowe, Interim Primary Care Programme Lead at OCCG, delivered a presentation about how commissioners are taking on a bigger role in shaping GP services in Oxfordshire. Rosie explained how this was necessary to enable GP services to cope with the increasing demand for their services 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 online booking of appointments.
This was followed by breakout sessions on Rosie’s presentation and key themes that patients suggested:
- A suggestion that patients are triaged by a nurse first at GP surgeries before they see a GP
- A call for more information on services provided at GP practices and greater signposting of support services, involving volunteers to support this
- More services to be provided at practices rather than hospitals
- A call for more information when patients are discharged from secondary care
- Suggestion that those who do not show up for their GP appointment should be fined
- Encourage local media to host regular slots on health and ways in which people can help look after themselves
This feedback and further information gained throughout a period of engagement run in July and August on General practice services, has contributed to the development of OCCG’s Primary Care Development Strategy. OCCG is in the process of going back to all Locality Patient Forums to present the findings of the engagement activity held over the summer and to describe the emerging primary care strategy.
Julie Anne-Howe, the locality’s Co-ordinator, gave an insightful presentation on how health services are commissioned by OCCG and shared details of upcoming projects where OCCG are looking to involve patients. These include: musculoskeletal services review project which will run from July 2014 to April 2015; ophthalmology which began in October 2014; dermatology which is due to begin in December 2014; cardiology which is due to begin in February 2015; and gynaecology due to start in April 2015.
The meeting held at Exeter Hall in Kidlington was an opportunity to say goodbye to the outgoing Chair of the locality Forum, Mike Hobbs. It was his final meeting as the Chair and the Forum thanked him warmly for all his hard work and will be looking to replace him from current members, if possible.
Information About the Locality
There are 10 GP practices in the locality with a population of just over 78,000. The locality Clinical Director is Dr Stephen Attwood, who is supported by Dr Will O’Gorman.