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General Practice Alert State (GPAS)

General Practice Alert State – please continue to submit your data – it is crucial to demonstrate the huge demand practices face that we know exists so that we can use it to evidence the need for there to be system response to support General Practice.

If you are not receiving the weekly email, or would like to nominate someone at the Practice to do this important role, please contact the LMC on 01522 576659 or email us at: info@lincslmc.co.uk

GPAS went live in May, following the successful pilot in April with 10 Practices.  Since then, we have received on average 43% of Practices submitting their data, thank you.  To date, we have 8 weeks of continual data which is starting to build a good picture.  However, we need data from as many Practices as possible and it needs to be maintained into the future to provide comparisons for future capacity planning and an effective response to continual pressures.

Practices can be reassured that the data they send to the LMC, including free text comments, Practice Alert Status (GREEN, AMBER, RED and BLACK) their locality / PCN and approximate list size are kept strictly confidential and are NOT available outside of the LMC.

When the data is received, it is collated by the LMC before summarising and sending onwards to key stakeholders in the CCG (soon to be ICS) as a situation report (sitrep).

This sitrep summarises data shown at County and Locality levels and includes:

  • Week No.
  • GPAS state.
  • Return rates.
  • Clinical activity per 1000 patients.

In addition, it also includes:

  • Approximate number of patients seen by Lincolnshire General Practice for the week.
  • Number of patients affected by Practices stating they are AMBER or ABOVE.
  • A breakdown of the percentage of Practices in the GREEN, AMBER, RED and BLACK states.

The four Alert Status are:

  • BLACK: A GP practice is in distress. This state is unsafe to continue without intervention from stakeholders.
  • RED: A GP practice is running safely under significant pressure but requiring immediate action to mitigate the situation. Staff shortages, increased patient waiting times, and elevated levels of communications with stakeholders will have put the whole practice under tenable strain. This status is sustainable only in the short term.
  • AMBER: A GP practice is running with some staff/resource shortage, patient waiting times are acceptable, and communications with external stakeholders are at slightly elevated levels. Amber state is sustainable in the medium term only and management action is required to revert to the Green state.
  • GREEN: A GP practice is running normally with resources largely in balance, patient waiting times are acceptable, and communications with external stakeholders are at routine levels.

Hospital trusts use Operating Pressures Escalation Level (OPEL) to communicate their demand and capacity to the NHS systems. OPEL is used by the NHS system to identify where support is required in the short term, and where transformation is required in the long term, therefore a conversion is carried out by the LMC on the GPAS data to give it an equivalent OPEL level.

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