Our achievements

What we did in 2013/14 – our achievements

  • During our first year we worked on buying health services for patients which support choice, promote healthy lifestyles and personal responsibility, and reduce inequalities in opportunities, experience and health outcomes, whilst managing our resources effectively and responsibly.

  • We have worked hard to stop people going into hospital when it is not necessary and have introduced the concept of a Virtual Ward – this allows us to provide community based support to people with complex medical needs who might otherwise be admitted into hospital.  The Virtual Ward, which is being pioneered in the Boston Area, uses the staff and systems typically associated with a hospital ward, but without the need for a physical building.

  • Alongside the Virtual Ward we worked with our local partners to launch an Independent Living Team.  Made up of nurses, physiotherapists, social care workers and support workers, the Independent Living Team aims to promote faster recovery from illness, prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, prevent admission to long-term care and to support discharge from hospital.  Providing short-term support, the Independent Living Team assists people to remain safely in their home during a period of illness or following a hospital stay.

  • We were the lead commissioner locally for the 111 service, which was piloted successfully across Lincolnshire, enabling people to access care when it’s not an emergency.  The service enables people to call 111 when they need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, free of charge from landlines and mobile phones.

  • We have reduced strokes by just under seven percent (7%) through a variety of different initiatives across the three localities.  Some practices introduced an innovative programme – Atrial Fibrillation Grasp - which proactively reviews the treatment history of people who have had a stroke or are at risk of a stroke.  Used in primary care, AF Grasp helps our GPs to assess the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) related stroke and manage AF in patients.  Opportunistic pulse taking in over 75s was also undertaken which identified more people with AF who would then receive the treatment they needed.

  • As lead commissioner for Louth and Skegness Hospitals, we have worked with the provider to introduce more integration of services in the Urgent Care Centre at Louth Hospital.  A Day Care Assessment Unit is also now receiving and treating patients, some of whom would have previously been admitted to hospital.  New, more efficient ways of working have also been introduced in the Urgent Care Centre at Skegness Hospital.  Open 24 hours a day, the Urgent Care Centres enable urgent assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a range of less serious injuries or illnesses.

  • We have played an active role in a number of groups, including the local Health and Wellbeing Board, which aims to improve the lives of local people by making it easier for health and social care to better jointly commission - or buy - and plan services.  Attended by a number of our GPs, the local Health and Wellbeing Board is responsible for producing the annual Joint Strategic Needs Assessment document, which provides a summary of what services are needed to help improve the health of our population.

  • We have worked in partnership with Age UK to successfully extend the countywide Falls Prevention service in the Boston Area.  Available to people over 75 (countywide service available to people over 65), the Falls Prevention service aims to reduce the risk of older people falling.  A member of the local Falls Prevention team carries out a falls prevention check in a person’s home and can give advice about how to best minimise the risk of falls in the future.  Waiting times to access the prevention check have been reduced, we have improved the availability and waiting time to access supportive equipment and have extended the assessment carried out to identify health problems that increase the risk of falling.  The Falls Prevention service has generated considerable interest and demand, which will lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life of those people.

  • We recognised the challenges of prescribing effectively and have implemented initiatives to address this, focusing reducing over prescribing in order to do what we can to minimise the incidence of antimicrobial resistance and reduce costs.  A particular concern across the whole NHS is the continuing widespread use of broad spectrum antibiotics including cephalosporins and quinolones.  We have been especially successful reducing the prescribing of quinolones – a range of antibiotics typically used to treat serious bacterial infections – and as a CCG we are now below the national trend for prescribing quinolones.

  • We have worked to develop relationships with our patients, and to engage with them, in an effort to tell explain what we do and what we would like to do in the future.  The Connecting Communities (C2) programme is all about listening to residents and joining together to tackle local priorities.  C2 originally began in the south west of England when a group of local people formed a resident led partnership which brought significant benefits to the local community.  With support from NHS Lincolnshire East CCG, C2 has helped local communities in Wainfleet and Winthorpe to come together and take control of local issues, helping to build a strong sense of community spirit.

  • We have established successful relationships with a wide range of partners locally and regionally, including Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Healthwatch.  In addition, we recognised the importance of our local Patient Participation Groups, particularly the insight and experience they can share, helping us to capture the issues that matter to our local patients, and their continuing involvement at a practice level.

  • Our GPs have been critical to the success of the CCG and will continue to be so.  As a CCG we have embraced a distributed leadership style of management, meaning that responsibility for running the CCG is shared across our team, including our member practices, clinicians and practice staff across all three of our localities.  This means that each and every one of our 241,000 patients has the opportunity to be seen by or talk to someone who is involved at some level in running the CCG.

  • Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) have recently secured £491,000 from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Challenge Award fund to develop a pilot project aimed at improving the quality of service and outcomes for patients in Lincolnshire through the development of an innovative approach to ambulance provision - the Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project.  This will build on an existing co-responder scheme run by EMAS and Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Services (LIVES), in which on-call retained firefighters already respond to medical emergencies, with some co-responders being mobilised to medical incidents in an ambulance, at the same time an EMAS paramedic will also respond to the incident in a fast response car.  This partnership approach will mean more timely patient conveyance and the highest level of clinical intervention possible.

  • Lincolnshire East CCG is working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council to deliver and promote a healthy lifestyles programme including increased gym capacity, healthy walks, master gardener allotment growing schemes, and cooking programmes.  In addition, we run an exercise on prescription scheme whereby GPs may recommend exercise on prescription, where patients may be referred to a local active health team.

  • Within a year of being authorised, Lincolnshire East CCG has been able to announce a contract award to Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) in partnership with the Butterfly Hospice Trust, for the provision of additional inpatient palliative care in the east of Lincolnshire.  Providers were challenged to be innovative in how they would deliver the best care for patients requiring inpatient palliative care.  LCHS will provide the nursing staff and the service will be housed in the Butterfly Hospice’s new inpatient unit in Boston, enabling patients, their carers and families to benefit from high quality, seamless inpatient support.

  • Our local population, patients and stakeholders are a critical part in what we do, and we are determined to increase the number and improve the quality of engagement opportunities we have.  Even before we were authorised as a CCG, we began a process of engaging with our stakeholders to understand what they wanted from us as their local commissioners.  We have run a series of events focused on our Commissioning Intentions, all of which have involved a wide range of stakeholders and organisations who have had the opportunity to feed into what they think we should be focusing on and what we should be commissioning or buying.  At the same time we have tried to implement a model of listening, whereby we can receive feedback from all stakeholders across east Lincolnshire and feed this into the CCG’s Governing Body.  There is a lot more work still to do, but we hope we have made a good start.

  • The work we have done to include and engage our stakeholders has helped us to begin to build a positive reputation for the CCG.  We are striving to be close to our patient population and ensuring that we work with our stakeholders is a crucial part of how we will move forwards.  Via a 360 degree survey our stakeholders have recently fed back their thoughts on us as a CCG and their responses were positive in the main.