Planned care refers to services for pre-arranged health appointments either in a community setting or in the hospital. We focus on improving clinical outcomes and the patient experience. Planned care seeks to improve the way we receive health care, maximise our resources and, where possible, ensure services can be accessed closer to home.
The main projects we are focusing on are set out below;
• Pain Pathway: GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, patients and physiotherapists have worked together to develop a new patient pathway which will direct how patients access pain management services in West Suffolk. The new pathway and supporting services will include early access to community support and education for managing pain to enable patients to be empowered to better understand and manage their condition. This service is expected to be available in early 2015.
• Dermatology: With an ageing population the numbers of skin conditions are increasing. We are working closely with GPs and the hospital to consider how community services could be developed giving increased choice to patients. We are also considering how GPs could obtain expert advice on whether a patient should be referred for their mole or other lesion.
• Diabetes: In West Suffolk, more than 10,000 adults suffer from diabetes, and the number of people contracting this common complex, life long illness is continuing to increase. Following a pilot in the Forest Heath area, which brought together GP practice nurses and hospital diabetes nurses to see patients together in GP surgeries, we are considering extension of the service to support patients across West Suffolk. The aim is to provide specialist support to diabetics with the planned outcome to help them improve their diabetes management and reduce avoidable admissions to hospital.
• Carpal Tunnel: It is predicted that the number of people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome will rise by 3.6%. Splints and injections can often help or stop the problem and avoid the need to have surgery. If your GP knows you have carpal tunnel syndrome and you have tried a splint or injection for six months, you can choose to have your operation safely under a local anaesthetic at a local hospital.
• Joint Pain: GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, patients and physiotherapists have worked together to develop new services for patients suffering from hip, knee and shoulder pain. These ensure that patients will receive the right treatment and support at the right time from local services wherever possible. The majority of patients will receive support and treatment from their GP or physiotherapists without the need for surgery. When patients clearly need an operation they are referred directly to an orthopaedic consultant by the physiotherapist and can still take part in a programme to prepare for surgery and make sure they are fit and ready to get the best possible outcome.
• Advice and Guidance: Allows your GP to seek advice from another person with specialist knowledge of your condition such as a consultant. We are looking at a variety of ways that this can happen, from electronically to telephone.
A clinician may wish to seek advice and guidance for:
• Asking another clinician/specialist for their advice on a treatment plan and/or the on-going management of a patient
• Asking for clarification (or advice) regarding a patient’s test results
• Seeking advice on the appropriateness of a referral for their patient (e.g. whether to refer, or what the most appropriate alternative care pathway might be)
• Identifying the most clinically appropriate service to refer a patient into and how to find that service (e.g. which clinical term to search on).
• Ophthalmology: The community ophthalmology model will be extended to enable optometrists to offer additional services nearer to patients’ homes, including glaucoma, certain conditions of the cornea, glaucoma asymmetry, lids and lacrimal treatments.
• Clinical Thresholds: As a health system we need to ensure that we are able to maximise the population health gain within the available resources and spend this limited resource equitably. Procedures or operations with cosmetic or limited health gain are not allocated funding by the Government. To support this area the CCG is working with primary, secondary and community clinicians to ensure patient receive only clinically appropriate procedures contained in the clinical threshold policies.
• Cardiology and Respiratory: Primary, secondary and community clinicians, from the cardiology and respiratory disciplines, are meeting regularly to identify and implement improvements to services. Areas under consideration include heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
For further information, contact us.