Work is currently underway within ICPs on the Elective Care Reform Action Plan. Elective Care is care planned in advance rather than emergency treatment.
This plan supports ICPs to enhance their role and remit to develop sustainable primary and community care service models, to better manage waiting times for planned treatments, care and diagnostics across Northern Ireland.
The recently published Elective Care Plan identified five commitments designed to deliver improvement, and the Action Plan sets out the ICP priorities for 2017-18 which contribute directly to the delivery of three of the commitments. These include:
• increasing patient self-management services to enable patients with long term conditions to better manage their condition more effectively
• expanding capacity and capability in primary care so patients can be appropriately managed locally, outside hospital or clinics
• improving direct access between GPs, pharmacists and dentists in primary care and hospitals and clinics in secondary care.
The ICP Elective Care Reform agenda is supported by an ICP Elective Care Board in which the ICPs will engage, support and work collaboratively with GP Federations in order to bring about implementation. Within the Elective Care Service, the initial focus on reform has been placed on ten specialty areas. They are:
• Musculoskeletal (MSK)/Pain
• Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT)
• General Surgery
Transformation plans for these specialties will ensure that patients can be managed by their GPs and other primary care providers without the need to be referred to hospital or clinic.