All systems go for new Lighthouse Group Practice in Portsmouth

Two GP practices in Portsmouth have now officially merged to form a new partnership.

Southsea Medical Centre and The Devonshire Practice officially joined together on 1 July 2019 to form the new Lighthouse Group Practice.

The move has been planned for months and was announced last May. It has been approved by NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for planning primary care services city-wide.

The two former practices have a combined registered of more than 13,500 patients. Both sites, which are 1.5 miles apart, will remain open.

Managing Partner Andrew Clarke said: “We strongly believe that by becoming a single practice, and pooling our clinical skills and staffing resources, that we will be able to offer improved high-quality services and good access to those services.

“It will also help us to offer our patients much more robust cover during times of staff holiday leave or sickness, and patients can be seen at whichever site is more convenient to them.

“We are also offering extended access hours with our healthcare assistant (7.30-8am Monday to Thursday; a nurse prescriber clinic (Tuesday 6.30pm-8.30pm) and a GP and nurse prescriber (Thursday6.30pm -8pm).

The new combined practice plans to provide:

improved same day access for its patients, especially patients who were registered at Devonshire, where appointment times have been adversely affected by staff sickness in recent months
an in-house pharmacist who will ensure that repeat prescribing processes are safer, better managed and provide an improved service to patients
modern facilities fit for the future
Improvements to the patients’ GP-led telephone triage system across both sites
a dedicated long-term conditions nursing team to work across both practices
a more attractive workplace for future staff, helping GP and other staff recruitment and staff retention – especially as it plans to become an NHS ‘training practice.’
Further enhancements to existing administrative systems to help GPs manage their paperwork – freeing up more of their time for appointments.

First Contact Physio – telephone triage service now available in all GP surgeries in Portsmouth

A new physiotherapy triage service means direct access to care for Portsmouth residents.

People with muscle and joint-related pains can now get direct access to a new service available across the city. Following a successful trial, the First Contact Physio service is now available in all GP surgeries in Portsmouth; this puts patients directly in touch with a physiotherapist, without the need to see another clinical professional.

The new triage service is being delivered by Solent NHS Trust as part of Health and Care Portsmouth, and is running in surgeries across the city Monday to Friday 8am to 12pm.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms are one of the most common reasons for repeat consultations with 1 in 5 people contacting their GP with a problem.

With over 200,000 people living in the city, First Contact Physio will benefit many people as well as freeing up GP appointments for those who need them most. When they contact their surgery, patients with symptoms like back or neck pain, or a hip, knee or shoulder complaint, may be offered a same-day telephone appointment with a specialist physiotherapist. The consultation will provide an opportunity for patients to gain advice or treatment to speed up recovery.

Theresa Costello, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Solent NHS Trust, said: “We are very pleased to be rolling out this service. Many of the patients we help just need support and guidance, from the right clinician, on what they can do to help alleviate or manage their symptoms. This can be done quickly and effectively through our telephone triage consultation without any further appointments being required. For patients that have required further assessment, it has been fantastic to be able to offer  them early access to the physiotherapy service. This has enabled patients to have an assessment, receive a diagnosis and start appropriate treatment far sooner. We are the only service in the locality that is managing on-the-day demand for MSK conditions from primary care with the telephone triage model.”

Muscle and joint related symptoms are often a common reason for both urgent and repeat GP consultations; however, the majority of these do not need to be assessed by a GP. Last year, the service helped to free up 2,940 urgent primary care appointments across Portsmouth. The feedback that has been receiving from both patients and primary care teams has been resoundingly positive.

One service user said: “I think this is an excellent service, the person I spoke to was very professional. They took the time to explain my symptoms and gave me exercises to help my condition.”

Another patient added: “I was very surprised at how quick it was. The physiotherapist was able to arrange an appointment for me and the person I saw was fantastic. They helped me so much that I haven’t had to go back.”

Dr John Thornton, from Kirklands Surgery in Portsmouth, said: “It is a highly efficient system that gets patients help in a timely fashion from experts in their field and as a bonus frees us up as GPs to help those who need our other skills.”

Dr Linda Collie, GP and Chief Clinical Officer at Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We know we need to change how health services operate in the city and this is one of the ways we are trying to improve out of hospital care for our residents.

“The physio triage service makes great sense for our patients. Doctors like me are not specialists in this area so it would be much more useful for our patients to see a physiotherapist directly to ensure they get the care they need more efficiently. This will free up our time to see those who need us most whilst ensuring all patients get the appropriate care and support.”

Patients also have the option to self refer to physio via the Solent NHS Trust website at: www.solent.nhs.uk/msk

Getting Carers connected during Carers Week 2019

Carers Week, established by Carers UK 25 years ago, is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.
Carers Week 2019 are calling on individuals, services and organisations to do their part in Getting Carers Connected – helping them get the practical, financial and emotional support they need to care for a loved one.
Portsmouth Carers Centre is encouraging carers to swap their knowledge with other carers, share information on the services which made a difference to them and their loved ones. There are some brilliant services out there, but smaller ones are not always commonly known or sometimes get overlooked. Many carers access smaller services provided by small local organisation or local church other carers are not aware of but would benefit from.

Portsmouth Carers Centre aims for carers to get connected with new services and with other carers. From the 1st of June 2019, staff from the centre will be collecting information on services used by carers and add them to the knowledge board at the base on Orchard Road. Carers will have sticky notes available to write on and put on the board when they pop in to the centre; those who are not able to visit personally, can call, send an email or FB message and the information will be added for them.
So what are they looking for?
It may be a service, a group, an activity, a charity or an organisation that carers have attended in the past or present, which they enjoyed or helped them in some way. It could be someone from a pastoral service, church session, community centre or a group, home shopping service, a mobile hairdresser or a mobile chiropodist just to name a few!

All carers and carers friends are invited to come in and have a chat at Carers drop in at HIVE, Central Library 10AM-12PM on Wednesday 5th June.  Click here to find out more.

The main Carers Information Swap Day at Portsmouth Carers Centre will take place 10AM-2PM on Wednesday 12th June.  Click here to find out more. 

For those who are able join, it will be great opportunity to chat and swap information while having coffee and a cake, discuss the findings with other carers, Carers Centre staff, Community Connectors and Social Prescribing team. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Better support for people in city care homes

Portsmouth’s Enhanced Care Home Team is providing better support for people living in Portsmouth care homes.

The multi-agency scheme pilot is expanding to cover more homes and improve the health outcomes for scores of vulnerable, older people – easing pressure on the local NHS.

Whereas previously if a care home resident fell poorly, a GP or nurse could be called out to see them, there is now far more emphasis put on pro-active care, involving a fully integrated approach which includes a core team of a GP, pharmacist, community nurses and care home staff, with a supporting team on standby when needed such as mental health nurses and a occupational therapist.

The service benefits include:

  • improved continuity of care,
  • improved patient safety through better clinical outcomes,
  • increased satisfaction of residents and their carers with the service,
  • reduction in urgent care usage,
  • a reduction in wasted/overprescribed medicines,
  • better trained care home staff.

The initiative, funded by the Portsmouth MCP (Multispeciality Care Provider) and BCF (Better Care Fund) to help health and social care organisations to provide new models of care, is a joint project involving NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Solent NHS Trust, the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance and Portsmouth City Council.

Pictured left to right, top row, are – Pam Macpherson (pharmacist technician), Quadri Olaniyan (pharmacist care home), Maria Rodrigues (deputy manager, Oak Grange), Morwenna Fenner (pharmacist technician); mid row – Carmen Palimaru (nurse, Solent NHS Trust); front row left to right – Charisma Williams (Home Manager, Oak Grange), Camilla Evans (GP) and Samantha Reilly (pharmacist).

“Positive Minds” – a new type of support for mental and emotional wellbeing in Portsmouth

A new way of supporting people’s mental and emotional wellbeing will soon be up and running in Portsmouth.

Positive Minds logo

During Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, the city’s NHS has confirmed that the new service will be called ‘Positive Minds’ – that was the preferred choice of almost 300 people who responded to a survey asking for their views on the name of the new service, how it might work, and the range of services it would offer.

Positive Minds is a partnership between Portsmouth CCG, Solent NHS Trust and Solent Mind, the local mental health charity. The service is set to open in a central location in the city in the autumn. The facility will offer a mix of booked and drop-in slots, combining both mental health professionals and ‘peer supporters’ – people with personal experience of living through periods of mental and emotional difficulties.

It is intended to look and feel very different to traditional NHS services whilst providing a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. This will give people somewhere they feel able to turn to when they face periods of distress in their lives which might feel overwhelming.

The service is part of the wider “Health and Care Portsmouth” programme. This involves key NHS and social care services and organisations working much more closely together, to give city residents better, more joined up support than has been the case in the past.

Dr Nick Moore, a Portsmouth GP and the mental health clinical lead for NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group said: “When we face distress in our lives, we need a place to turn. There are huge amounts of people who live through difficult times, and who might pay a price for that in terms of their mental and emotional health. Positive Minds is a new type of health care service that can offer people a safe environment which will provide support before they reach a crisis point.

“We know that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work. Positive Minds can offer professional help and support, where you are safe, heard, and able to take the first steps towards a more hopeful future. It’s also a place where you can meet others who have similar experiences and understand how you feel.

“The local NHS, the city council, and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are all signed up to working together to give people that flexible, open service. There is work underway to improve other mental health services as well, but Positive Minds will be a fantastic new option for people, when it opens later this year.”

Solent NHS Trust has announced the winner of its inaugural Nurse of the Year Award.

Vanessa Bull, a Learning Disability Nurse, was presented with the award at Solent NHS Trust’s Celebrating Nursing conference today, Friday 10 May 2019.

Vanessa Bull and Sue Harriman

The award gave patients and Solent colleagues the opportunity to recognise those who really make a difference and is part of Solent NHS Trust’s celebration of International Nurses Day 2019 on Sunday 12 May.

Vanessa works within the Jigsaw team based at Southampton Civic Offices, which supports disabled children and young people as well as their families.

She is described by her colleagues as someone who always goes the extra mile and is truly passionate about getting the best outcomes for the children that she works with.

The panel of patients, volunteers and staff, selected Vanessa for her high standards, superb care that she provides to patients and her humble and impressive attitude.

On receiving the award, Vanessa said: “It was very unexpected, but it was lovely to win the award. All the nominees were amazing and everyone does such a fantastic job so it makes the award extra special.”

Solent NHS Trust Chief Nurse Jackie Ardley said: “We are very fortunate to have some incredible people working within Solent. The panel read through many fantastic nominations and it was such a difficult decision to choose a winner.

“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the winner – Vanessa Bull – for her phenomenal work, particularly over the last 12 months. Vanessa clearly demonstrated the Solent values and shows outstanding innovation, compassion, as well as excellence.

“The conference was such a wonderful event and it was a pleasure to be able to recognise everyone’s hard work and dedication across the day. All our nurses have been pivotal in helping us achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating at providing caring services in our recent Care Quality Commission report. Together we can continue to learn and keep even more people safe and well at, or close to, home.

“We had 11 nurses shortlisted for the award, and just to be shortlisted is such a great achievement. All the nominees should be incredibly proud of themselves.”

All nurses, both registered and non-registered and working in Solent services, were eligible for a nomination.

New senior appointment to help integration drive

Suzannah Rosenberg has been appointed to the role of Solent NHS Trust’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer in the Portsmouth and South East Care Group.

Suzannah will devote approximately four days a week to her new job, but will also continue to play a senior role at NHS Portsmouth CCG for the remaining day a week, where she is currently Director of Quality and Commissioning.

When the vacancy arose, both Solent and the CCG were very keen to make a joint appointment if possible, to reflect the way that city organisations are increasingly working closely together to deliver the Health and Care Portsmouth agenda.

Suzannah’s new title will be Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Transition, and she will formally begin work in this role in July. She will also continue to lead on mental health commissioning for the city, and as senior responsible officer for the Integrated Care Partnership Mental Health Programme.

Suzannah said: “I have worked closely with Solent in my role at the CCG, and I believe that this new joint role offers a perfect opportunity for me to progress the work to improve and integrate services in the city. I hope that the joint nature of the role will enable me to play a part in delivering the result that we all want to see, which is integrated, person-centred services which provide the best possible support for those who rely on them.”

Sarah Austin, Solent Chief Operating Officer and Commercial Director, said: “This is an exciting and innovative approach that further removes borders between organisations and functions and will support the approach we would wish to see increasingly in the Integrated Care Partnership. I know everyone will welcome and support Suzannah in her new role.”

A new service for Portsmouth – what you told us

We are planning a new service for Portsmouth, which is intended to offer a different way of supporting people’s emotional and mental health.

The service will offer both booked and ‘drop-in’ slots, with both professionals and peer supporters. We wanted to check in with city residents whether we were on the right track, and what you thought of a couple of possible names.

Almost 300 people responded to our survey, and a quick summary of the headline findings can be seen here.

Local NHS team sets the national standard for improving foot care for patients with diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the UK and its prevalence is increasing.

In 2013, there were almost 2.9 million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes. By 2025, it is estimated that more than 5 million people in the UK will have diabetes.

In England, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes increased by approximately 53% between 2006 and 2013, from 1.9 million to 2.9 million. The life expectancy of people with diabetes is shortened by up to 15 years, and 75% die of complications i.e. stroke and heart disease.
The risk of foot problems in people with diabetes is increased, largely because of either diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage or degeneration) or peripheral arterial disease (poor blood supply due to diseased large and medium sized blood vessels in the legs), or both.

Peripheral arterial disease affects 1 in 3 people with diabetes over the age of 50. Diabetes is the most common cause of non traumatic limb amputation, with diabetic foot ulcers preceding more than 80% of amputations in people with diabetes. After a first amputation, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a subsequent amputation as people without diabetes.

Mortality rates after diabetic foot ulceration and amputation are high, with up to 70% of people dying within 5 years of amputation and around 50% dying within 5 years of developing a diabetic foot ulcer.
If the early signs of an ulcer developing are not picked up or acted upon swiftly, the possibility of more significant problems leading to amputation can occur.
Against this background, a team from the Wessex Cardio-Vascular Network which is based in the local Southampton office of NHS England and covers Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Dorset, reviewed all local services for good practice and to identify potential gaps in service. The aim of this was to reduce the overall incidence of patients’ suffering from ulceration and amputation.
The team’s work has now been recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the body which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE has published this work as the standard foot care guidance that should be followed by clinicians nationally, when providing care to people with diabetes.
As part of the National Diabetes Treatment and Care Programme, NHS England invested £42 million in 2017/18 in proposals to improve the treatment and care of people with diabetes, and is one of four key priority areas targeted by NHS England for diabetes transformation funding.
Sally Rickard, Associate Director, Clinical Senate and Networks, NHS England South, said: ” The team here, working with a number of our clinical colleagues across the area, have done a fantastic job in standardising what is now acknowledged by NICE as the best, standard practice for providing foot care to diabetic patients. This work will make a tremendous difference to patients, and at the same time will save the NHS significant time and money, through improved efficiency and effectiveness. We are all very proud of their achievement.”

Around 20,000 patients use Portsmouth’s new 24/7 primary care service

Portsmouth’s new 24/7 Integrated Primary Care Service (IPCS) has already had more than 20,000 patient contacts.
The service, launched at the end of June 2018, offers patients registered with a city GP practice improved choice and access to out-of-hours care.

It has linked three services for patients needing urgent out-of-hospital care – the Acute Visiting Service (AVS); the extended access service and out-of-hours provision.

New figures show that the number of people accessing the service is around 3,000 a month on average.

More than 19,000 patients have used the Extended Access and Out of Hours scheme – around 40% of whom have required a face-to-face appointment, with the others “managed virtually” – by advice or prescription over the phone.

And nearly 2,600 patients have benefited from the Acute Visiting Service. Of the 332 home visits undertaken on behalf of GP practices in December 2018, 95% were managed by the visiting GP in their own home, many of whom will have avoided conveyance to hospital.

Of the 162 patients (7% response) who have so far responded to a new virtual patient feedback mechanism, 96% recommended the service.

Patients particularly praised the quick response time to speak to or see a clinician, the positive attitude, kindness and compassion of staff, the fact that they felt listened to, and that they received treatment when it was needed.

You can read the full story on the CCG website here.