In spring 2015, Sheffield was awarded funding in wave two of the national Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund to deliver an ambitious programme to improve primary care services for patients and the working lives of GPs and other Primary Care staff.
The bid was led by Primary Care Sheffield, an umbrella organisation owned by Sheffield GPs through four locality-based provider companies representing a unified voice for General Practice in the city.
The Enhancing Primary Care (EPC) programme was the realisation of this bid, an innovative pilot of 16 schemes implemented across the city from October 2015 which aimed to provide more access to health and care services out of hours, increase pharmacy support, enable practices to work together to meet the urgent care needs of patients and where appropriate support patients with self-care. More than 500,000 patients were to benefit from the programme through the involvement of 82 GP practices, making Sheffield’s the largest Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund pilot.
“To me this scheme has been a resounding success. It has been responsive to patient need, provided care closer to home, offered prompt assessment by experienced primary care clinicians and put the patient firmly at the centre of the agenda. Hopefully we will demonstrate that the numbers of primary care patients presenting at a/e are lower than previously. In my opinion, this shows how primary care can step up to the plate when given the resources, enabling the provision of responsive, excellent, comprehensive care.”
Dr Marion Sloan, GP at Sloan Medical Centre