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General Practice Alert System- coming soon!

General Practice Alert System- coming soon!

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.

General practice does not currently use an official OPEL system.    Lincolnshire LMC have been working with the CCG and other NHS bodies to better understand workload pressures in general practice and to develop an OPEL system which can accurately quantify the status of general practices.   This system will be known as General Practice Alert System (GPAS).

GPAS is currently being used in Devon and provides weekly reports for Devon LMC so that they can highlight the status of Devon’s GP practices, and seek support from NHS partners.   Practices in Devon provide a weekly measure of their workload demand and capacity, using a digital interface.  Devon LMC use this data to provide an anonymised report.  This report does not allow outside agencies to identify practices which may be struggling but does highlight to the whole health and care system that help is required. 

The GPAS report highlights what Alert State each practice is at, and can also indicate PCNs, localities, or areas where demand is excessive.  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.

Lincolnshire LMC will soon be asking GP practices across Lincolnshire to provide simple data about workforce capacity, workload demand, and practice list size on a weekly basis so that we can generate a GPAS report weekly.  These reports will be used to highlight where support is required in the short term and identify patterns where support is required in the medium to long term.

We ask that you engage with this process as it will help articulate to our NHS the pressures which we are facing.

When we start to roll out GPAS we will provide you with more information.   You can see more information about Devon’s GPAS by looking at the Devon LMC website.

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