A big thank you to our partners and our patients who have helped us to reduce how much we spend on over the counter medicines. Over the last year we have saved nearly £1.2 million by asking patients to buy medication over the counter, instead of getting it on prescription. As well as saving on prescription costs it has also helped free up GP time and reduce the number of prescriptions issued. Some items like paracetamol can cost as little as 25p, and yet we spend millions every year. Thank you for all your hard work and please help us to continue!
The winter months are a key period for the NHS as we see more people becoming ill and our local NHS services having to work harder to keep people well. In this newsletter there is advice about staying healthy, seeking help early, ordering repeat prescriptions in advance and getting the flu vaccine - these are all things we can do to help ourselves to stay well.
We had some great news recently, which we should celebrate. Our First Response Service won the ‘Mental Health Initiative Award’ at the General Practice Awards 2018. It is fantastic that our services are receiving national recognition. The helpline is available to people living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by calling NHS 111 and selecting ‘option 2’.
We've also had some early success from our NSTEMI pilot which has seen seventy-one heart attack patients benefitting from quicker, safer treatment. Patients with high-risk NSTEMI – a type of heart attack caused by a severely narrowed artery – are now being transferred directly by ambulance to specialists at Royal Papworth Hospital for treatment within 24 hours, rather than being admitted to an acute hospital like Addenbrooke’s or Hinchingbrooke first. This offers huge benefits to patients, as research and guidelines state that high-risk patients achieve better outcomes if they receive treatment to unblock the heart’s blood supply within 24 hours. Since the new ‘Rapid NSTEMI’ pathway was launched in September, ninety-four per cent of patients have received treatment within 24 hours.
There has also been some good news for our local NHS; confirmation of up to £100 million to build a pioneering children’s hospital in Cambridge, as well as additional one off investments of £25 million for Hinchingbrooke hospital and £19 million for Addenbrooke’s hospital to improve facilities and services, as well as an additional £18 million for improvements to ambulance services. This is great news for patients in our area.
Our area has also been recognised nationally by the Department of Health and Social Care in their ‘Prevention is better than cure’ strategy which uses the Granta group of GP practices as a good example of GPs working more closely together, and with other professionals such as pharmacists and community nurses.
Finally, I would like to welcome Louis, Louise and Mark as new appointments to our Governing Body:
- Louis Kamfer – Chief Finance Officer
- Louise Mitchell – Chief Operating Officer
- Dr Mark Sanderson – Medical Director
You can read the full Winter edition of our 2018 newsletter by clicking the link below.
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