Whose Health is it Anyway? –
Helping the NHS understand and act on what really matters to patients and carers
There is increasing focus in the NHS on supporting patients to be in control of their own health and well-being. To make this a reality, patients and carers are going to need to be in the driving seat to ensure care and support is built around what matters to them most. An exciting project is taking place across the South of England working with patients and carers to understand, from their own perspective, what is important to them in managing their health and care better.
Your views matter - what help do you need to manage and make decisions about your health and well-being? What helps you feel in control of your own care and what gets in the way?
The aim of the project is to gain feedback from as many patients and carers as possible and your views will help us understand and act on what really matters to you. You will be helping to ensure that the voices of patients and carers are at the centre of decision making about future commissioning priorities.
To start the discussion, we should be grateful if you could please take a few minutes to complete the survey on the attached link:
If you would like to be more involved in helping us gain more detailed understanding, there is opportunity in the survey to indicate your willingness to take part in a telephone interview or group discussions (both online and face to face groups).
Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.
“Help Us to Help You”
We are pleased to report this month that the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups’s ‘help us to help you’ campaign – which we are part of – has got off to a good start. The campaign is supported by The Basingstoke Gazette, but other news outlets also ran the first article about the number of wasted GP and practice nurse days every month when patients make appointments and fail to turn up.
Locally this is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. The bill for wasted GP time in North Hampshire in May was almost £35k. Each GP appointment costs £20 and 1703 were wasted in May.
‘The Help Us to Help You Campaign is about working together’, said Dr Sam Hullah, CCG, Chief Clinical Officer. ‘We want to look at a number of areas where we can work together with patients and public to improve care and make better use of resources’.
The campaign will also look at medicine waste and inappropriate use of the out of hours’ service
Keep a look out for the Help Us to Help You campaign in your local newspapers and on local radio.
Wasted medicines cost the local NHS over £1 million!
Our practice is pleased to be a part of a campaign to reduce the amount of money that is wasted each year by prescription medicines not being taken.
‘The causes of waste are many and complex,’ said Alma Kilgarriff, Medicines management Lead Pharmacist for the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. ‘Some patients order and receive medicines they don’t even begin to take. Others suffer side effects and return them. Around half of all returns are unopened packets.’
The cost to the NHS nationally and locally is enormous. Last year North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group spent £26 million on drugs and of this £700k was lost on prescribed medicines that were never taken. This figure does not include the cost of collection and destruction.
‘This figure is only the tip of the iceberg’ added Alma Kilgarriff. ‘The true cost will be over £1million when prescribing costs are factored in, plus the purchasing time and then dispensing and disposing costs. Quite often our GPs, nurses and Carers visit patients and see unopened medicines - box after box of prescribed medicines that have never been opened or used’.
Audits of medicines returned to pharmacies identify various reasons from side-effects to doctors changing treatments or doses, to patients simply not wanting to take them anymore.
It’s estimated that at least half of this waste could be avoided.
‘We know that 50% of patients don’t take their medicines properly,’ added lead Pharmacist Alma Kilgarriff. ‘This can be forgetfulness or complacency. We have examples of patients with repeat prescriptions who just keep on collecting or getting their medicines delivered and they just pile up unopened or have been unable to stop their medicines being repeated.”
Medicine waste and inappropriate use of medication is now being tackled by GP practices and Pharmacies along with the Basingstoke based Clinical Commissioning Group as part of the help us to help you campaign.
‘We are already working hard to reduce waste by asking GPs to look at what’s prescribed and why. We are examining the repeat prescription system to prevent over ordering,’ added Alma Kilgarriff. ‘But we need patients to work with us and help us. If they don’t want or no longer need their medications they need to let their GP or nurse know.’
We are members of the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group that ‘went live’ in April 2013
The practices are all based in and around Basingstoke and form the Clinical Commissioning Group. Dr Andrew Fernando is our lead within NHCCG and has the portfolio for long term conditions.
The CCG has been working with a number of health stakeholders and health services within our catchment area. Notably a lot of work has gone into redesigning access to A&E and integrated working with community staff.
One real difference that you will have seen is that we have a much bigger District nurse Team with Lynn Aldridge as our Community Matron. The team is called the Maple Integrated Care Team (ICT) and are based at Odiham Cottage Hospital.
Maple ITC also include a social worker who is allocated to our practice called Chioniso Hlatymayo.
NHCCG has prevented the closure of Odiham Cottage Hospital and provided us with more DNs and a social worker – all of which should really benefit our patients. A number of other services are provided to the community from Odiham Cottage Hospital.
Charlotte Hutchings works on the end of Life project for NHCCG. This means that she tries to put systems in place so that patients are able to die in as peaceful way as possible, in the place where they chose which maybe at home or in the hospice.
We will give you more news of NHCCG as the year progresses.