Agenda item - Formal Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Formal Member Involvement

To consider the following:


(a) Petitions;


(b) Written Questions (copy of questions advised to date attached);


(c). Letters;


(d) Notices of Motion


20(a)  Petitions


20.1    There were none.


20(b)  Written Questions


20.2    It was noted that two questions had been received from Councillor Bagaeen:


(a)           Triage Arrangements During the Pandemic


1. Under pandemic guidance, GP surgeries had been advised to offer telephone triage first, and then face-to-face appointments if deemed ‘clinically necessary’. What constitutes ‘necessary’ remains open to interpretation. While many GPs have been willing to offer patients either telephone or in--person appointments, depending on what they prefer, others appear to have moved almost entirely to virtual ones. That’s certainly the case of my GP. The advice from the NHS is for GP practices now is to reverse the triage model and see patients face to face without a screening call. What advice or guidance has the CCG given to GP practices in the city?”


20.3    The Chair gave the following response:


GP practices across Sussex, and across the country, have been providing a clinical triage service to understand the needs of each individual patient and how best they can be supported. This has helped to keep patients and staff safe during the pandemic over the last 18 months. Through this clinical triage, it is determined how best to provide help and support to each patient based on their needs; if anyone needs to be seen face to face for example for a wound dressing, blood test, or clinical assessment of a lump then a face to face appointment will be offered. In other circumstances, a phone appointment or video appointment will allow the health professional and patient to discuss the concern and for the patient to be supported appropriately. In many cases, this flexible option is benefiting patients who don’t need to travel to the surgery unnecessarily when they can stay at home or work and receive the help they need. It is important to note, from the last appointment data released last week, 52% of all appointments in GP practices in the city were face to face, with the rest made up of home visits, phone consultations and video appointments. The CCG is following national guidance in terms of GP access and is working closely with GP practices to make sure patients are receiving the best possible care.”


(b)      Effectiveness of Telephone Appointments

20.4    Councillor Bagaeen asked the following supplementary question:


2.It’s been argued that the shift to telephone appointments is actually good for the NHS. It’s more efficient. Yet the data doesn’t support this. Even with the move to phone consultations, it appears that the proportion of same-day appointments taking place has barely changed. Can colleagues share the data for same-day appointments (telephone and face to face) for individual GP practices across the city?”


20.4    The Chair gave the following response:


“The ability for GP practices to provide a range of appointment types is helping all practice teams to provide the care that patients need whilst working to manage the increased need that they are experiencing. Telephone appointments, when appropriate, are quicker than face to face appointments as for each face to face appointment the necessary infection control measures need to be followed, such as individually cleaning the consulting room before the next appointment can take place.


The latest data, published last week, shows that there were 133,827 appointments in general practice in Brighton & Hove in September 2021; this is compared to 113,463 in September 2019 before the pandemic period. During September 2021, 55,707 consultations took place on the same day, 13,204 the following day after contact, and 28,039 between 2 to 7 days after contact. In comparison for the same period in 2019, 48,713 consultations were on the same day (6,994 fewer than this year), 8,179 the following day (5,025 fewer), and 24,837 between 2 to 7 days (3,202 fewer).


In total, there were 20,364 more patient consultations that happened in September 2021 compared to the same period before the pandemic, and more patients have received help and support quicker.


Validated practice level data is not available but we hope that this is helpful and we would be happy to look into any specific concerns if you contact us.”


20.5    RESOLVED – That the content of the questions and the  responses given to them be noted and received.


20(c)  Letters


20.6    There were none.


20(d)  Notices of Motion


20.7    There were none.

Supporting documents:


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