GP Provider Support Unit, Birmingham and Solihull

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The ESO is an important contribution to primary care improvement plans. It is a major ICB investment in primary care’s work to ensure all patients in BSol have the “right access” to high quality general practice with a focus on reducing inequalities. For BSol practices, improving access, managing workload and reducing variation in access are paramount. There is also a longer term need to enhance our preventative approaches and our focus on long-term conditions outcomes. The ongoing work in the system to increase capacity and reduce inappropriate demand are mainstays of achieving the changes we all want to see.

Following the launch of the “right access first time” (RAFT) programme and the new national funding streams for improving access, the ICB has begun reviewing the ESO requirements to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate for the future.

Presently practices are working either to a Universal Enhanced Service Patient Offer (UESPO) contract and specification or a Primary Care Commissioning Framework contract and specification.

For Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 the ICB’s Contracts Team will issue a common specification for all BSol practices underpinned by a UESPO or a PCCF contract. The shared specification will allow all practices to deliver a consistent offer to BSol patients in line with current expectations. It will include a requirement for practices to participate in the RAFT programme and locality working. 

Specifically, the ESO requirements will include the following:

  • the practice should develop plans for increasing the use of online services, to improve access and reduce pressure on the practice
  • the practice should assess staff training and support needs in relation to care navigation, to ensure plans are in place for updating training and information/protocols where required
  • the practice should review the structure and processes for their appointments system to identify changes that may be required to make it easier for patients to connect with the right person at the right time and in the right way
  • the practice should send senior staff (partners and practice manager) to key locality events such as the locality RAFT Collaborative and other meetings involved with advancing integrated care locally

The full revised 2023/24 specification will be issued as soon as possible. This specification and contract will be in place until the end of March 2024.