This follows a period of engagement during the Autumn as part of the My Life a Full Life programme and work by the CCG with GPs, Practice Managers, Practice staff and Practice Patient Participation Groups (PPGs).
The strategy recognises the challenges providing primary care on a small Island and sets out a vision for the future of General Practice including extending access to routine Primary Care 7 days-a-week, implementing digital technologies enabling greater access and control, and developments in using new staff groups to work differently.
Caroline Morris, Assistant Director of Primary Care and Corporate Business at IW CCG said:
“The challenges we face on the Island are well documented. People’s expectations of their Primary Care Service are changing, we have an increasingly elderly population* and we cannot recruit sufficient qualified staff.
“We need to think creatively and work together to come up with the best solutions for the future. Patients have told us we must be braver and honest about these issues, and this document is a first step in engaging the public and professionals in tackling the issues we face.
“There are already some great examples, both here on the Island and further afield, showing how we can manage the challenges and create a system fit for the future.
“Elsewhere in the UK, the use of digital technology in remote rural communities is enabling services to be provided more efficiently and at more convenient times for patients. For example, the use of Skype and online consultations with GP or other healthcare professionals is gaining in popularity”.
Ms Morris continued:
“The majority of healthcare is carried out in a Primary Care setting so it is really important that we face up to the challenges that our GP practices are facing and put proper plans in place. Our aim is to make sure that the NHS continues to deliver great care to our patients for years to come. I hope people will respond to this consultation, letting us know what they think and help us find the answers to some of these difficult issues”.
The Strategy document and email address for your feedback can be found here. The consultation is running until mid-February.
*Increasingly elderly population: 26% over 65 (17% England average), 12% over 75 (8% England average) and 4% over 85 (2% England average)