Social Care - Help with long-term conditions care

Commissioning lead Dr Robert Varnum on a new resource on long-term conditions to help CCGs with social care.

Dr Varnum: integrated working (Photograph: DoH)
Dr Varnum: integrated working (Photograph: DoH)

A new resource should prove helpful both for the leaders of the new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and their member GP practices. They are going to need to play a much greater part in understanding shaping pathways and services. It is called an at a glance briefing and covers social care and clinical commissioning for people with long-term conditions. It is written by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), along with the King's Fund.

The briefing highlights the progress already being made towards greater joined-up planning and working between health and social care. There are around 15 million people in England with at least one long-term condition. People with long-term conditions make up half of all GP appointments and 70 per cent of healthcare expenditure.

This briefing highlights the crucial role of integrated working between the NHS and social care services, to achieve better outcomes.

GPs already have a holistic perspective about our patients' needs, and are well acquainted with the interplay between physical and social issues in both the causation and management of people's problems. However, regardless of our biopsychosocial perspective, we often find ourselves powerless to ensure that patients experience a cohesive approach to meeting their needs.

Effective relationships
The practical ideas in this briefing will provide a welcome indication of how we can improve these in our practice and across our CCG. Its advice, to ensure that we do not lose what we already have, is very timely.

As CCGs begin taking stock, we are building key relationships and agreeing their priorities. We recognise the central importance of these effective relationships between professionals.

Designing healthcare
So we want a more seamless experience for our patients. Taking a greater role in the design of the local health and social care system presents an opportunity to achieve this. There are several benefits; it is likely to improve safety and quality, to reduce waste and to improve satisfaction for both patients and ourselves.

The at a glance briefing is handy because it looks at how GPs and social care staff can work together to develop new relationships, plan and co-ordinate care, and fund and commission the best and most efficient services. I think it is a great resource.

Working collaboratively with local services, clinical commissioners can redesign services to ensure patients and their families get the care to improve their health outcomes. We can also be more efficient and effective and could save money.

  • Dr Varnum is clinical lead for commissioning, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, and a GP in Manchester

Resources

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Rebuild GP campaign logo

Hundreds of GPs sign open letter highlighting 'decades of neglect' of general practice

Hundreds of GPs have signed an open letter to patients warning that 'decades of neglect'...

Dr Farah Jameel

PCNs are 'existential threat' to GP independent contractor model, BMA warns

The BMA's England GP committee has warned that PCNs pose an 'existential threat'...

Houses of Parliament

GP partnerships 'like collapsing Jenga stack' after Javid threat to nationalise practices

Sajid Javid's decision to back a report calling for the end of the GMS contract within...

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...