This is the third 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.
Demand for services remains high and extensive work has been undertaken to prepare for the next period of industrial action by junior doctors from 7am on Wednesday, 20 December to 7am on Saturday, 23 December.
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 221 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 265 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 75 practices reporting, 8% of optical sites are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 1% of practices facing extreme demand.
- Pharmacy – of 96 pharmacies reporting, 23% of sites are feeling significantly challenged and 8% 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.
Mark Fisher, chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester said: “The pressure on the NHS can feel relentless at this time of year. As we experience more spells of cold weather, we see a rise in seasonal illnesses as well as staff sickness. We are now also preparing for the latest round of strikes, once more prioritising urgent and emergency care – including emergency and life-saving surgery – to protect patient safety and ensure people who need help the most can receive the best possible care.
“Staff in health and social care continue to work hard to address pressures across the system. There is great partnership work every day on some of our toughest issues. Such as improving ambulance handover times to get ambulances back on the road quicker to respond to emergencies; getting people home or to another place of care when they don’t need medical help from hospital anymore; and providing more urgent dental care for those in need.
“As we approach the festive period, the public can help play their part by getting to know the wide range of NHS services that are available to them. If you are unwell, you can access healthcare advice in many ways including through several community services such as your local pharmacy, urgent dental and eye services, or seeking help through NHS 111. People can also book a GP appointment for help and advice.”
A number of campaigns are available to help the public understand how health services are currently working, so they know where to get the right help and care.
The Greater Manchester Bank Holiday Pharmacy Opening Hours are available on the NHS GM website.