Agenda item

Recovery and Management of Systems Pressures

Presentation from Managing Director, Harrow Integrated Care Partnership, NW London ICS


The Sub-Committee received a presentation from the Managing Director of the Northwest London ICS which gave an overview of the covid-19 recovery programme and management of system pressures in Harrow.  The following points were raised:


·                 Until 31 March 2022 practices and primary care networks were asked to focus on the: continued delivery of general practice services; management of symptomatic covid-19 patients in the community and the ongoing delivery of the covid-19 vaccination programme.


·                 GP practices faced increased sickness rate during January but stabilised in February.  GP Practices have been open for face to face, telephone and digital consultations all through this covid-19 wave.  During winter months there was increased capacity in GP access through winter access funds.


·                 Health care outcomes for people with long term conditions needs to be improved back to pre-covid levels or better.  It has been planned to focus Northwest London NHS Trust’s priorities and recovery in the following areas: maternity care, early cancer diagnosis and long term condition management.


·                 A minimum standard for access for patients was to be established with work conducted alongside Health Watch so that that patient experience and accessibility could be improved.


·                 The clinic-based services were reinstated on 1 February 2022 following the redeployment of staff to integrated services.


·                 A review of the waiting times was undertaken, with a plan for services with long wait times in development.


·                 Core services had been maintained throughout the pandemic and the recovery plan would be monitored and shared with the Northwest London ICS.


·                 Podiatry services were highlighted to have longer than desired waiting times, this was due to the need for face-to-face consultations which were not possible during the pandemic.  However, now that face to face meeting were reinstated it was aimed for these waiting times to be reduced.


·                 An increased number of children accessed mental health services and waiting time targets were met despite the increased demand. In addition, an additional Mental Health Support Team supporting schools was scheduled to go live in February 2022.


·                 A new 0-5 service which would focus on early identification and prevention of children with potential mental health issues would be launched in February 2022.


·                 There had been a significant increase in referrals to the older adults community mental health team, 50% above pre-covid-19 levels and also referrals in the adult community hub increased by 30%.


·                 Single point of Access saw an 8% increase in calls in January from December, with winter monies used during this period to increase this service’s capacity.


·                 Demand remained high for social care services with 60 new requests per week reported, a 24% increased when compared to pre-pandemic levels.


·                 The higher demand had meant that more than 200 people were in the community waiting to start a conversation and there were more than 3 months’ worth of work queued.  This higher demand had also resulted in increased costs supporting those with learning difficulties as well as an in crease in safeguarding enquiries when compared to the previous two years.


·                 Outpatient recovery was reported to be recovered 95% compared to a 2019/20 pre-pandemic baseline and elective recovery had recovered by 85% compared to a 2019/20 pre-pandemic baseline.


·                 It was reported in April 2021 that there were 1609 long waiter patients (patients waiting over 52 weeks for first definitive treatment) and for January 2022 this had reduced to 499.


·                 For diagnostics, Northwest London was in the top quartile for 18 weeks from referral to treatment and ranked 7th out of 122 ranked trusts for the 6 weeks diagnostic standard.


The Chair thanked officers and NHS representatives for their updates. The Sub-Committee asked questions as followed:


·                 A Member of the sub-committee asked if there was a pilot scheme to divert resources to allow GPs to improve their capacity and wanted to know if this had been made into a general policy or was it still under review.  The Deputy Chief Executive of the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) explained that this initiative had made a big difference by diverting patients and was keen for this scheme to be maintained.


·                 A Member of the Sub-Committee asked if there was a youth mental health unit in Harrow.  To which the Managing Director for the ICS explained that that there had been a greater focus on youth mental health.


·                 The Chair of the Sub-Committee asked if the diverting of patients initiative would be used by other Trusts, to which the Deputy Chief Executive of LNWH explained that their experience with the initiative had been shared but was not aware other Trusts using this initiative. 


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.

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