Suffolk Coast and Country Primary Care Collaboration
Case study summary
The Coast and Country Primary Care Collaboration (CCPCC) is a group of nine practices working together as a primary care network across Suffolk. They started collaborating in 2017, aiming to tackle local pressures across general practice and provide a better, more joined up service for their patient population.
Coast and Country Primary Care Collaboration
What was the aim?
The Coast and Country Primary Care Collaboration (CCPCC) is a group of nine practices working together as a primary care network across Suffolk. They started collaborating in 2017 and became a formal joint venture in early 2018, aiming to tackle local pressures across general practice and provide a better, more joined up service for their patient population.
What was the solution?
CCPCC agreed from the beginning that, to streamline the governance processes and ensure services could be set up as quickly as possible, an advisory board would be set up on behalf of the network and would be made up of only four members – two GPs and two practice managers. This meant decision making was quicker and initiatives could be progressed without multiple meetings being held or approvals been sought from large numbers of people.
As such, with the support of their local stakeholders and advisory board, the nine practices were able to secure transformation funding which then financed new roles and additional resources.
What were the results?
Two full-time paramedics were recruited to carry out home visits and care home visits and treat patients with minor illnesses. This has resulted in a reduction of pressure on GPs who are now only required to provide home visits for the most ill patients. Data suggests that the paramedics are conducting 10 to 15 visits and appointments per day, which due to the rural geography of the area is saving considerable time for GPs. These paramedics also provide mandatory training for staff in basic life support and sepsis.
In addition, two specialist dementia nurses (known as admiral nurses) have been employed in partnership with Dementia UK to support families with relatives who have dementia. These families are often coping with extremely complex situations, sometimes involving palliative care, and such cases cannot be managed well within the time constraints of a traditional general practice appointment. On average, the admiral nurses hold caseloads of around 80 patients, some of which require weekly input which may increase in times of crisis. By taking over these caseloads, the admiral nurses are offering families additional time to receive the intensive specialist support they need and are freeing up appointments elsewhere in the system that the patients may otherwise have booked into.
A successful application has been made for a clinical pharmacy team. There are also plans in place to develop sexual health services, including contraception and chlamydia screening, for patients in more rural areas.
In relation to the paramedic service, there are plans to employ a third member of the team. Talks are underway with the local ambulance trust around developing a teaching scheme on a rotational basis for any paramedics interested in primary care. Not only will this help the ambulance trust with staff retention it will also benefit the wider health system locally.