Agenda item

NHS response to and recovery from the pandemic - Verbal update - Wendy Balmain, North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group


Considered – A presentation by Lisa Pope, Deputy Director of Primary Care, Community Services and Integration, North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group.


Wendy Balmain was unable to attend the meeting.


The key points from the presentation are as summarised below:


·         As at January 2022, the number of people accessing GP appointments is up on the same time last year

·         66.5% are being held face to face, 52.2% are being held the same day as the appointment being made, there is a non-attendance rate of 3.1%

·         The sickness rate among staff at GP practices has increased over the winter period

·         Online consultations are still being used, which has helped with access.  An online consultation involves an email being sent to a GP with a photo attached.  The GP then phones the patient back for a discussion about treatment

·         All screening programmes have been re-introduced and the backlog is being reduced with the help of additional capacity through the private healthcare system

·         Referrals in for people with a suspected cancer have increased.  This is a positive thing as it shows that people are not being deterred from seeking assistance at the first opportunity.  National campaigns regarding prostate and urinary cancers have had an impact upon referrals

·         The numbers of people going through elective surgery is still being affected by the need to ensure infection control

·         Mutual aid is in place across hospitals in the Integrated Care System to help ensure the most effective use of bed spaces

·         There are higher rates of staff absence due to cvoid-19 infections and the need for NHS staff to self-isolate for 10 days unless there have been negative Lateral Flow Tests at days 5 and 6

·         There is a strong focus upon GP recruitment and retention and looking again at the full range of services that can be delivered by primary care

·         Covid-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment in the NHS has been dropped nationally but it is still being actively encouraged

·         Locally, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is still on track to deliver it financial plan for 2021-22.


There followed a discussion with the key points as summarised below:


·         The non-attendance rate of 3.1% is low but still equates to approximately 6,000 appointments missed

·         All GP practices are being encouraged to move to online prescriptions and the adoption of the NHS app

·         There are a range of different professionals at GP practices that can see people and assist them.  People do not need to see a named GP on all occasions and certainly should be discouraged from going to Accident and Emergency, unless absolutely necessary

·         The missed appointments at GP practices are monitored and patterns tracked.  Practices will speak to people who book appointments and frequently cancel, to understand what help and support they need

·         Planning is underway for the influenza vaccination campaign in the winter of 2022.  It is not yet clear whether this will be directly linked with a further covid-19 vaccination campaign.



County Councillor John Ennis summed up, thanking Wendy Balmain for attending and responding to questions from the committee members.




1)    That Wendy Balmain provides an update on the local NHS response to and recovery from the pandemic at the committee meeting on 17 June 2022

2)    Lisa Pope to circulate a copy of the current vaccination figures.