Agenda item - Primary Care in Brighton & Hove

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Agenda item

Primary Care in Brighton & Hove

Report of the Executive Lead, Strategy, Governance & Law (copy attached)



20.1    This item was introduced by Hugo Luck, CCG Deputy Director of Primary Care.


20.2    In response to a question from Fran McCabe about GP to patient ratios, Mr Luck told members that there is local work to recruit and retain GPs – for example, by supporting professional development opportunities for those working in smaller practices who might otherwise have limited development opportunities. There is also some new funding attached to the roll-out of Primary Care Networks (PCN). However, it needs to be recognised that there are limited numbers of medics and clinicians and they have to be used as efficiently as possible.


20.3    Ms McCabe commented that there is lots of variation in GP services across the city, with a real risk that the best performing practices will get better at the expense of poorly performing practices. Mr Luck acknowledged this risk; primary care commissioners are working with Public Health to support PCNs to understand their demographics and are delivering bespoke management support to each PCN.


20.4    In response to a question from Cllr McNair on why it was difficult to recruit GPs in Brighton & Hove, Mr Luck responded that the high cost of living is a factor as is the high number of smaller practices which offer limited training prospects.


20.4    In answer to a query from Colin Vincent about sudden practice closures, Mr Luck told members that commissioners are getting better at predicting closure, despite practices only having to give 3-6 months’ notice. However, the CCG needs to be careful that it does not unduly alarm the public about a potential closure when recruitment is still being actively pursued.


20.5    In response to a question from Cllr Druitt on GP to patient ratios, Mr Luck told members that the number of practices in Brighton & Hove has reduced significantly in recent years: from 47 to 35. However, this does not necessarily mean that the ratio of GPs to patients has worsened. Also, the GP to patient ratio is only one measure of primary care capacity; equally important is how often patients consult their GPs. This can vary significantly depending on demographic factors within practice catchments.


20.6    In answer to a question from the Chair about encouraging young people, particularly girls, to take up medicine as a career, Mr Luck agreed that this approach may have merit, although there is already a good gender balance in general practice.


20.7    RESOLVED – that the report be noted.

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