This is the ninth weekly winter briefing produced by NHS Greater Manchester to update stakeholders on how services are performing and how we work together to manage demand and provide care and support to the public.
Each week, the primary care data is updated along with the statement from Mark Fisher, chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester.
Staff are working tirelessly to meet demand across both secondary and primary care settings.
The acute system is very pressured this week and all sites have experienced ambulance handover delays.
Key pressures remain with bed occupancy and ‘no reason to reside’ levels, which is impacting patient flow at several hospitals.
This weekly briefing, produced by NHS Greater Manchester, aims to update stakeholders on how services are performing and how we work together to manage demand and provide care and support to the public.
An investment of approximately £2million has been made into additional primary care services this winter, such as expanding the community urgent eye service, urgent dental care, minor ailment schemes at local pharmacies and GP surge hubs to provide more appointments.
Primary care data
There are approximately 1,800 primary care providers, with a workforce of around 22,000.
We recently launched our blueprint for primary care to improve access to GPs, dentists, optometrists, and pharmacists.
- Dentistry – of 232 practices reporting, 31% of dental practices are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 21% of practices facing extreme demand.
- General practice – of 275 practices reporting, 30% of GP practices are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 1% of practices facing extreme demand.
- Optometry – of 84 practices reporting, 7% of optical sites are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 2% of practices facing extreme demand.
- Pharmacy – of 117 pharmacies reporting, 25% of sites are feeling significantly challenged and 9% are feeling challenged but coping.
Providers across all primary care disciplines are encouraged to submit a weekly sit rep, noting areas of pressure. This is also known as a ‘pulse check’.
Work is underway to encourage more practices to use the pulse check so that support can be provided where appropriate.
Providers can access support by visiting the primary care sitrep support page on the GMPCB website.
On Thursday, 25 January 2024, Mark Fisher, chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester said: “Winter pressures are still impacting our health and care system. Our staff are working tirelessly to keep up with the demand, which is seen in the number of attendances at emergency departments and requests for advice and appointments within community settings.
“The impact of delayed discharges on new admissions remains a challenge which we are doing everything we can to address. As soon as hospital care is no longer required, the safest and best place for a person to be is at home or in appropriate residential care. We know it can sometimes be difficult finding suitable places to go, and that sometimes it can be hard for loved ones to provide input, but we would encourage families where possible to support their relatives in leaving hospital in a timely way.
“Despite unrelenting pressure, the NHS is here for people, as they need; and I would encourage people to use the most appropriate service for their need, and if they aren’t sure, to use NHS 111 Online or phone.”