A ‘deep dive’ review of Ayrshire’s GP surgeries will help identify the struggles facing residents trying to access services.

The review will be considered by the East Ayrshire Integration Joint Board’s audit and performance committee this week.

East Ayrshire's health and social care partnership is the lead partner in the delivery of primary care services across the whole of Ayrshire and Arran.

Last year the committee discussed a patient consultation  that identified access issues and the increased demand on GPs since 2019, and asked for a more detailed report into activity at GP practices and the barriers to people accessing services.

There are several reviews currently in progress, including analysis of the telephony system, triage, urgent care, GP recruitment, and workflow.

The review of pharmacy and prescribing is the most advanced, with a work stream currently being drafted.

The review also seeks to cover GP contracts, ‘continuity arrangements’ and a ‘centre for excellence’.

The level of detail and the amount of information being collated led to a board, chaired by Vicki Campbell, head of primary and urgent care service, being set up to oversee the review in December 2023.

In a report to the committee Ms Campbell states: “A key component within the review is gathering of detailed information from all GPs.

“Practices on current workforce, capacity and activity with a data collection template are now being issued.

“This was compiled in collaboration with our clinical leadership team
and senior representatives of the local GP Sub Committee.

“This extensive piece of work will bring in understanding of the landscape of general practice, along with the opportunities.”

A caring for Ayrshire primary care premises workshop was held earlier this month and was attended by key stakeholders across primary care, NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the three Health and social care partnerships.

That workshop sought to ‘understand any emerging themes or barriers for delivery of primary care services from current GP premises and discuss alternative models for service delivery within the caring for Ayrshire principles of delivering more care within the community’.

Ms Campbell’s report continues: “The outcome of the deep dive review will provide a clearer understanding of how GP practices are currently operating at an HSCP level and any access issues.

“The review will highlight potential barriers for progress or other areas requiring more targeted actions to allow the primary care management team to work closely with general practice teams to enhance and improve access to general medical services for our citizens.

“Furthermore the review will highlight the progress and impact of a variety of
ongoing service improvement workstreams.”

Ms Campbell said that the findings of the deep dive review will ‘provide a clearer understanding of any issues impacting on patients accessing general medical services’.

“Analysis of the data will be able to identify common themes where patients may face barriers and identify further learning and actions needing to be taken forward to improve and streamline service delivery.”