Local award-winning community healthcare provider, Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE), has won a ten-year contract to continue running three Tendring GP practices.
Frinton Road surgery in Holland-on-Sea, Epping Close surgery in Clacton and Green Elms surgery in Jaywick, will continue to be run by ACE for a further ten years with the new contract commencing on April 1 2018. A fourth practice, Caradoc in Frinton, is also run by ACE under a contract awarded in 2015 which runs until 2025.
David Harrison, Chairman of ACE, said: “This is seriously good news for ACE, but it’s even better news for the people served by the three GP practices subject to this tender.
The award of a 10-year contract by the CCG demonstrates enormous faith in ACE’s capabilities. It also removes uncertainties for our primary care workforce and for the people we and they serve.
With these firm foundations now in place, we can work to strengthen the services provided by our GPs and our wider team of primary care clinicians. We can also look to maximise linkages between our primary care and community services workforce, so that, together, they provide a high-quality and joined-up service for local residents.”
The new contract has been awarded to ACE by North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEECCG) following a tendering process. Sam Hepplewhite is its Chief Officer: “ACE was awarded this contract following a rigorous procurement process and a public engagement exercise that was undertaken by the CCG. I am extremely confident we have selected the best organisation to supply these services to local people in Clacton for the following ten years. They also displayed a sound knowledge of healthcare provision within the area and experience of working with health and social care professionals to offer joined up services. We look forward to working with them to deliver services from these three practices.”
A total of 22,750 patients are registered at the four surgeries, all of whom are to benefit from a pilot programme called Care Navigation, launching on January 10.
Care Navigation is a process that has been designed by doctors and other clinical staff to ensure patients are supported to access the right service for their needs with minimal delay and inconvenience.
Existing ACE staff at the four surgeries have been trained as ‘Care Navigators’ and they will staff a local control centre – or ‘navigation hub’. Patients at the four surgeries will still phone their surgery number as they do currently, but their call will be answered by a Care Navigator who will ask the patient a few questions to ensure they get the most appropriate service. For example, if a patient needs to see a specialist nurse or other healthcare service, and it is not necessary for them to see the GP first, they can be referred directly and the Care Navigator will make sure this happens – saving the patients’ and the doctors’ time.
Jayne Hiley, Director of Operations at ACE, said: “Our new telephone system and control centre will be launched at the same time as Care Navigation, providing 30 new lines and a state-of-the-art call queuing system which will improve patients’ ability to get through to someone on the phone, especially at peak times. From Wednesday January 10, patients will no longer be able to book a new appointment with the receptionist at the practice as all patients will need to speak to a Care Navigator first to ensure they are directed to the best service for their needs.
“Currently, too many people can’t see a doctor when they really need to and too much of each doctor’s time is spent seeing patients who could be seen equally well by another service or professional. Care Navigation will support us to ensure that patients see the right professional first time and we are confident this will result in a much improved service for our patients and eliminate the queuing at surgery opening times which has become an increasing cause for concern of late.
“Our Care Navigators will use clinically developed software to guide each patient to the best professional or service to meet their needs. This software has been developed with doctors to ensure that it is clinically safe. It has been carefully tested to ensure that all risk factors are identified in the process.”
January 5 2018
Issued on behalf of Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) Community Interest Company by PJR Communications Ltd. For further information contact Peter Richardson on 01206 843225 or 07778 067614.
Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) is a multi-award-winning organisation providing a comprehensive range of NHS community health and well-being services across north east, south and west Essex. ACE is employee-owned with more than 1,100 staff and has an annual income of approximately £56m. As a social enterprise, ACE invests any surpluses at the end of the year into service development and its local communities.