NHS England (Greater Manchester) primary care demonstrator evaluation
What did we do?
As part of its 2013 Primary Care Commissioning Strategy, NHS England (Greater Manchester) funded a programme of six ‘demonstrator communities’ to test new and innovative ways of delivering primary care services, with a key focus on increased access to general practice, integration and the use of technology. We developed and conducted an independent, academic evaluation of the communities.
Why was it important?
The provision of comprehensive, patient-centred, coordinated, safe and accessible primary care services continues to be widely regarded as the foundation of NHS care. There is, however, currently a drive to ‘transform’ primary care services to better meet the needs of the population and address the growing and increasingly unsustainable pressures faced by health services. Our evaluation of the primary care demonstrator communities provides NHS commissioners and providers with evidence-based findings regarding ‘what worked?’ (or ‘what didn’t work?’), ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ in order to support future decision making.
How did we do it?
Our evaluation included both a process and outcome evaluation and explored:
- The levels of activity associated with the implemented demonstrator interventions
- The outcomes (on A&E admissions, walk-in centre and out of hours activity, and patient satisfaction) brought about by the demonstrators providing additional weekday evening and weekend appointments in general practice
- The processes through which the demonstrator interventions were defined, implemented and modified over time.
Notably, our evaluation precedes that of the national £50 million Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund (first wave), an initiative which also aimed to improve access to general practice and stimulate innovative ways of providing primary care services.