This is the seventh 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.
All partners across Greater Manchester’s health and social care system have been working to mitigate disruption from industrial action which finished on Tuesday 9 January.
While industrial action may have ended, winter pressures and the cold weather means that all services continue to work under significant pressure.
The public can help by continuing to use NHS services appropriately, picking the right service for their needs; and keeping emergency departments for life-threatening injuries or emergencies.
People should ensure they are up to date on their vaccines and that repeat prescriptions are ordered in advance.
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.
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.
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 229 practices reporting, 33% of dental practices are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 20% of practices facing extreme demand.
- General practice – of 273 practices reporting, 29% of GP practices are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 2% of practices facing extreme demand.
- Optometry – of 83 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 112 pharmacies reporting, 27% of sites are feeling significantly challenged and 11% 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 12 January, 2024, Mark Fisher, chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester said: “Staff have worked incredibly hard to provide care around-the-clock, and keep people safe during the strikes, but that work doesn’t end today. Winter pressures and the current cold snap means the NHS and social care providers continue to be extremely busy.
“Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, and old people, and those with heart or lung conditions can be particularly at risk. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you, heating the rooms you use most. We urge people to take extra care of themselves and to check in with their loved ones to ensure they are staying safe and keeping warm.
“If you need urgent medical help and you’re not sure where to go, use NHS 111, including the online chat to get assessed and directed to the right place for you.”