Each year, NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which buys and plans the county’s healthcare, commissions a number of extra services from general practice based upon local need and funded from a ring-fenced budget.
These local services are over and above what GPs have to provide as part of the national core contract.
The details of these commissioned services for 2020-21, which have been developed in partnership with medical and management representatives of Northumberland’s practices, were signed off by the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee at its meeting on Wednesday February 12.
Presenting the report, Pamela Phelps, the senior head of primary care commissioning, said that there had been a request from practices in the rural areas to look at a minor injuries service, as part of the CCG’s closer to home agenda.
However, it was not included in the services for the coming financial year, but it will be considered as part of the wider process to develop a new Urgent Care Strategy, which is already under way.
Lay member Karen Bower asked if this decision had been shared with the practices, given the focus on good communication between the CCG and GPs.
Ms Phelps said that it was discussed at the task and finish group, which fed into the setting of priorities, and it was a ‘consolidated decision with the practices in the room that the Urgent Care Strategy would be the best forum’.
Ms Bower also questioned the point of the targets as part of the medicines management priority, given the feedback from GPs was that they were ‘unattainable’. Ms Phelps stated that all feedback went to the task and finish group and that she hadn’t had an update yet.
It was proposed that safeguarding be included as a mandated requirement for 2020-21, but Dr Richard Glennie, from the Local Medical Committee (LMC), said that the LMC would have concerns about this unless it was properly resourced.