Agenda item

Primary Care Strategy - Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group

Minutes:

Rahul Chaudhari, Director of Primary Care, Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, presented the report which highlighted an existing and growing, demand and capacity gap for Primary Care Services within Thurrock with the Primary Care Strategy having the potential to regenerate and revitalise primary care locally reducing the workload of general practitioners and improve the service being offered to patients. Rahul Chaudhari stated the aim would be to make Mid and South Essex a place where medical staff want to come and work. Members were referred to the Appendix that outlined the strategies key themes.

 

The Chair thanked Rahul Chaudhari for the report.

 

Councillor Allen stated there was a shortage of general practitioners in the borough with 8 of the 36 under doctored posts being in Tilbury and questioned whether those figures were still correct. Rahul Chaudhari stated the picture was forever changing with the challenge that 25% of general practitioners are over 55 with the eldest being 82 but would confirm the figures and let Members know.

 

Councillor Redsell stated more should be done to encourage more general practitioners into Thurrock and questioned what action was being undertaken on missed appointments. Councillor Redsell also stated not all residents had access to digital equipment. Rahul Chaudhari stated it took 11 years to become a general practitioner and work was being undertaken with Anglia Ruskin University on future courses. That placement positions were being offered at general practices with the hope students would stay in Thurrock following their training. The redevelopment of the Integrated Medical Centres would offer services and entice new general practitioners. With open shows being undertaken to promote Thurrock and three general practitioners from the EU now worked in Stifford Clays and Grays. Rahul Chaudhari stated a quarter of daily appointments were being missed. With the introduction of the MS Text Service offering a 2-way reminder service, residents will be able to cancel by texting the practice. This service had been trialled in the South East and reduced the number of missed appointments by 25%. Raising awareness promotions were being undertaken in practices and in some practices 3-strikes and residents were being struck-off. Rahul Chaudhari stated the digital way forward was not to replace the existing service but to give residents another option to get in touch with their general practitioner.

 

Councillor Redsell praised the good work being undertaken by pharmacists in Thurrock.

 

Councillor Allen stated when general practitioners would be available at the new £20 million Integrated Medical Centre in Tilbury. Rahul Chaudhari stated primary care services through general practices would be available from day 1 of the opening.

 

The Chair stated a change in mind set of the workforce would need to be addressed and had there been any concerns with recruiting general practitioners internationally. Rahul Chaudhari stated people had concerns with Brexit and unsure how they would be treated. With direction expected from the Secretary of State shortly on special treatment for medical staff from the EU.

 

Councillor Rigby questioned whether the primary care services would cope with the potential increase in population and with the shortfall of general practitioners in the borough. Rahul Chaudhari stated future proofing had been undertaken but to close the capacity gap there would be a need to recruit another 120 general practitioners, as well as more clinical practitioners, physiotherapists, mental health and social care professionals and a range of other support staff.

 

Members and Officers briefly discussed the Cancer and Heart Disease Outcomes to which the Chair stated that a report on “Cancer Wait Times” would be presented at the 8 November committee.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the report.

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