National recognition for SSP Health
SSP Health has been recognised nationally for its success in improving GP practices.
The GP federation was shortlisted in the BMJ Awards, the UK’s premier healthcare awards which reward inspirational work done in the sector.
SSP Health was a finalist in the Primary Care Team section of the awards, organised by the British Medical Journal, after making significant improvements to six GP practices across 11 locations in Wigan and Leigh.
After the local CCG awarded contracts for the practices in August 2018, they were aligned to SSP’s holistic approach to health, focussing on improving the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of patients, as well as helping local communities.
The federation – which runs 36 GP surgeries across the North West caring for around 150,000 patients – benefits practices by providing extra training and support, back-office efficiencies, centralised IT and enhanced services.
Patients at the practices saw a host of improvements, including being offered longer appointments, choice of phone and online appointments, greater access to annual check-ups and enhanced health services, and the surgeries worked much more closely with care homes and organised community events and projects.
The outcome included two of the practices receiving ‘Outstanding’ ratings from health regulator the CQC, reduced A&E attendances and emergency admissions by patients in all practices, and improved NHS QoF (Quality and Outcomes Framework) figures.
A practice in one of the borough’s most deprived areas cut the number of opioid prescriptions it gave out by a third.
SSP Health’s Director and GP, Dr Shikha Pitalia, said: “When we were awarded the contracts for these practices, we found the full spectrum of GP services gave much scope for shared working for better patient care. They hadn’t been performing optimally for QoF, their medicines management and systems and processes for access needed a whole system review.
"This is a model SSP Health has developed over 20 years and which the NHS is now encouraging via the recent concept of Primary Care Networks.
“After we instigated the Holistic Patient Care Project, we were able to drastically improve the services we offer to these patients, making them healthier and happier.
“Being shortlisted for this prestigious award is recognition of the hard work of all our staff across these practices and the head office which supports them.
“These practices are now among the best performing for QoF scores, which can help to reassure patients that they are now receiving excellent healthcare.”
Below is SSP Health's Senoir Management Team, with Dr Pitalia, centre.