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Agenda item

Unity Health Progress Update report

At the request of the Committee, Unity Health will provide a general update report on the 2019 GP Patient Survey.


Louis Johnston, Managing Partner, Unity Health and Dr Richard Wilcox from Unity Health were in attendance following the reporting of an independent patient survey for NHS England January 2019, where 60 per cent of patients rated their experience with Unity Health as "good”, a significant drop from 80 per cent from 2018. Unity Health took the opportunity to   provide an update report in more detail on the 2019 GP Patient Survey.  A presentation of this survey was circulated and can be found at item 4 of this agenda.  It was reported that the survey and plan of action arising from the survey would be agreed by the Patient Participation Group (PPG) at the end of September.  Responses had been received by 5% of the practice list.


The Managing Partner and Dr Richard Wilcox had attended previous scrutiny committees to address concerns further to an Ofsted inspection in May 2018, where the practice had been rated “inadequate”.  Subsequent Care Quality Commission (CQC) follow up and reports in September 2018, January 2019, and July 2019 had been positive.  They were keen to explain that the NHS England survey results reflected their position last year.  Their in-house patient survey was undertaken in June 2019 and the results demonstrated the improvements that had been made in response to concerns raised at the previous scrutiny committee meetings which had included: telephone communication, lack of staff and negative publicity.


In response to questions from members, it was reported that the Patient Participation Group (PPG) had chosen a new telephone system which had been used successfully at the Elvington practice.  The benefits of the system were that patients knew where they were in the queue.  It directed the call to the correct area of service and calls were recorded, which had assisted with staff training.


A number of measures had been implemented to increase and maximise the staff resource.  Particularly at busy times such as the intake of new students in September to December, these had included:

·        an additional receptionist available for busy times. 

·        appointments made available online. 

·        two additional nurses able to deal with minor ailments. 

·        consideration had been given to making more appointments available on a daily basis. 

·        trained specialist nurse led clinics for specific areas such as: hypertension, diabetes and pulmonary disease

·        improvements to the mental health provision.  An eating disorder counsellor is available on Wednesday’s, two  Primary Care workers at the practice once a week.  IAPT clinics later available from September onwards. 

·        additional staff training.

·        increase in pharmacy hours to 50 hours as part of the Primary Care Network’s shared resources.  Pharmacists can prescribe for minor ailments, freeing up GP time.


To improve the perception of their health service, the Managing Partner highlighted their intention to:


·        publicise the action plan arising from their patient survey, once it had been agreed with the PPG.

·        capture good feedback particularly from the elderly and vulnerable groups, using Duty Managers to seek qualitative feedback.


Members queried whether the patient survey responses had been taken from a representative sample, noticing that three out of four of the responses received were female.  Unity Health confirmed they had noted this and could not say why this was particularly the case and that they would ensure they have a representative sample in future.  They assured members that vulnerable groups such as the elderly, had been accurately represented in this survey.


Speaking in support of Unity Health, Andrew Lee, Director of Primary Care and Population Health for the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, spoke of the intense scrutiny  Unity Health had been under, and commended their efforts in the face of public scrutiny to achieve the progress they had made which had been recognised by positive CQC since initial concerns were raised.


Resolved: The committee noted the improvements that had been made to date address CQC, Survey and   Health Scrutiny concerns.


Reason:     To ensure a good standard of medical care for the Hull Road ward.

Supporting documents:


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