Tomorrow is NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) first birthday so, one year on, I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain a bit about what we do and our future plans.
The CCG launched on April 1, 2013, taking over from the former Doncaster Primary Care Trust (PCT).
We are led by local GPs, who take time out of their surgeries to work with NHS managers to design, organise and pay for the NHS services Doncaster people rely on. In effect we are the patients’ champion and custodian of Doncaster’s £427 million annual NHS budget. We have to spend that money effectively to get the best health outcomes for Doncaster people.
The budget we are allocated roughly equates to £1,380 for every person registered with a GP practice based in Doncaster Borough.
So tomorrow marks the start of another business year and the opportunity to continue our drive to improve the health of Doncaster people. Our big priorities this year are what we have dubbed the 3Cs:
Care out of hospital: We want to improve and enhance the services you use close to where you live, particularly around GP practices.
Care of the frail: Britain has an ageing population and the greatest users of health services are patients aged over 85. Many elderly people are frail and have long-term health problems and managing those conditions account for around 50 per cent of appointments at GP surgeries. We want to help those people maintain their independence for as long as possible. Soon, every GP surgery will have a named doctor responsible for the care of patients aged over 75.
Co-ordinated care: is about working smarter and better together across organisations so patients receive ‘seamless’ care and are not passed between pillar and post. New technology will help us achieve this without losing the human touch that is so important.
We also have some service areas that we want to focus on: cancer; children’s services; mental health; dementia; unplanned care (when you become ill or injured) and continuing health care (services for people who have serious health conditions that won’t get better).
Doncaster’s children’s health services, for example, are currently being reorganised to help them improve and we expect patients to see the benefits of an additional £1 million investment in the coming months.
One of the areas we’re focusing on is the care of youngsters who have autism. We’ve listened to and learned from the experiences of local parents and we want to do better for them. We’re putting more resources into cutting the existing waiting lists and, all things being equal, we expect the wait for a diagnosis to come down from 18 months to around 18 weeks in 2015 – which will be a quarter of what it currently is. More good news about that soon.