The Primary Care Board, representing Jersey's General Practitioners (GPs), and Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, are pleased to announce a set of initiatives which will improve services and access to General Practices.
Additional investment of up to £9 million will be available to General Practices from now until the end of 2025 to support the development of primary care and to help prepare for the Jersey Care Model (JCM).
A key element of the agreed package is direct financial support for the employment of nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and health care assistants. This initiative will help patients receive care from the 'right person, in the right place, at the right time'. For example, Islanders will increasingly be able to see a nurse for routine monitoring, which will improve their access to care.
Key details of these initiatives are:
- a wage support scheme to help practices with the cost of employing health care professionals comprising nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and health care assistants. Initially, a budget of £1m will be available in 2022 and a further £2m in 2023. This will be phased out over 2024 and 2025 as new ways of delivering care and funding under the JCM are rolled out
- a fee paid to the practice for each consultation or service delivered by a health care professional – this will help practices adjust their business models away from one dominated by GPs and allow the development of new services delivered by a range of health care professionals
- the creation of an on-going contract which will pay the general practice a fee for telephone or video consultations, this builds on the temporary service which has been in place during COVID-19
- GPs and the Government are coming together to review the Jersey Quality Improvement Framework, to create new measures and targets. As part of this initiative, the Government has committed to progressively increase the funding by £1m over the next 4 years to reach £2.8m by 2025 as part of a 'payment for performance' agreement
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin said: "I introduced the Health Access Scheme in 2020 to support lower income families with their primary care costs. This has been very successful, but I knew there was more to do. I asked my team to consider broader measures to support access to primary care. This has led to very productive conversations with General Practice and a focus on the challenges around staffing and Jersey's reliance on GPs.
"Today nurses and other healthcare professionals have the skills to provide a wide range of services to patients. This expansion of the workforce will allow GPs to focus on areas where they are needed most. "
"Our focus on Health Care Professionals, like nurses and pharmacists will help us improve the balance of practitioners in General practice, which will have knock-on benefits for the quality of care, patient access and health outcomes."
The Primary Care Board said: "GPs have been pressing for several years for support to modernise their practice teams in line with the services offered in Primary Care on the mainland and further afield. This was recognised in the implementation of the Health Access Scheme and the important role of Allied Healthcare Professionals is now being recognised locally for the wider community.
"Practices will now be supported in diversifying their workforce to offer improved care to their patients whilst maintaining access to their GP. We look forward to working with Government to address and support the evolving healthcare needs of Islanders."
Government of Jersey News Release