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  • Kent and Medway the NHS regions ‘most under pressure’ this winter 

    New research published by the Future Health Research Centre, supported by healthcare management consultancy Acumentice, identifies 16 health systems under high levels of pressure across both primary and secondary care going into this winter.

    Analysis from NHS data sources including appointment access, waiting times and ratios of staff to patients is used to look at relative pressures between new Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), established in July 2022 and now responsible for regionally managing health services.

    Each of the regional ICSs are ranked for six key metrics: the number of appointments per head of population, the number of appointments per GP, the percentage of same or next day appointments available, the percentage of appointments that were booked over 21 days of initial contact, the number of patients who ranked their experience as fairly poor and the number of A&E attendances due to no GP appointment availability.

    The research, revealed that Kent and Medway is the NHS region under the greatest relative pressure, ranking in the top ten for four of the six index metrics. It had the second highest appointments to GP ratio, the fifth highest number of patients recording a ‘poor’ or ‘fairly poor’ experience, as well as ranking tenth for the number of patients unable to see a GP resulting in going to A&E.

    The top ten ICSs identified as the most under pressure were:

    1. Kent and Medway

    2. Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

    3. Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

    4. Sussex

    5. South Yorkshire

    6. Gloucestershire

    7. Derbyshire

    8. Mid and South Essex

    9. Dorset

    10. West Yorkshire

    By contrast a similar number of systems are under low relative levels of primary and secondary care pressure. These include Bristol, North Somerset and Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West, Coventry and Warwickshire, Hertfordshire and West Essex, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, Suffolk and North East Essex.

    Karina Malhotra, Managing Director, Acumentice Health who commissioned the research said: “As Claire Fuller’s report set out, the development of ICSs is an opportunity for closer working between primary and secondary care that really delivers for patients. Our day to day partnership work across the NHS shows that sharing and integrating data and data analysis is critical for system success. By building integrated data strategies across primary and secondary care, ICSs will be best placed to effectively tackle the pressures they face”.

    Richard Sloggett, former Special Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and the report author said: “This research highlights the different relative pressures new Integrated Care Systems are under and shows that not all Systems are being created equally. Worryingly for the Government they include both areas with marginal seats and in traditional Conservative heartlands in the South East. The new Secretary of State is right to put tackling such variation as a priority. The recent Our Plan for patients document was a start but more assertive national action is needed to match up to the scale of the challenge”.

    The full report can be found here: https://acumentice.com/new-report-identifies-16-health-systems-under-high-levels-of-pressure-this-winter/


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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