This is the second 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 continues to be very high across both urgent and primary care.
Ambulance performance has been very challenged this week with some handover delays. NHS Greater Manchester is working with partners to address these delays as well as reduce waiting times for those needing an emergency ambulance response in our communities.
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 217 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 259 practices reporting, 32% of GP practices are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 1% of practices facing extreme demand.
- Optometry – of 71 practices reporting, 7% of optical sites are feeling a significant or very significant increase in demand, with a further 1% of practices facing extreme demand.
- Pharmacy – of 94 pharmacies reporting, 23% of sites are feeling significantly challenged and 7% are feeling challenged but coping.
Providers across all primary 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: “Locally, across the NHS and social care, seasonal pressures including cold and icy weather and winter sickness have contributed to a challenged week. The cold and damp weather can worsen existing health problems, increase the risk of a fall, and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses. Keeping warm, both indoors and outdoors can help prevent colds, flu, and more serious health problems.
“We welcome the announcement this week that Greater Manchester will benefit from over £6 million pounds of investment to help try and ease expected winter pressures on the NHS and the wider health system. This national investment will strengthen services already in place and be used to help get people home quicker, and for additional social care provision. It also means where appropriate, people can receive the care they need without needing to be admitted to hospital.
“This week further strikes by junior doctors were confirmed for dates in December and January. We will do our best to minimise disruption and as with previous rounds of industrial action, our priorities will be ensuring patient safety and making sure people know how and where to get care and support from during strikes.”
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.