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Detailed health needs assessment informs final stage of Leicester City ASSIST service and homeless service planning

21st July 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

Following extensive feedback from patients that are registered at the Leicester City ASSIST Service and the homeless service, health and social care services and members of the voluntary sector, a decision has been taken to continue to provide a specialist service to meet the unique needs of the homeless and asylum seeker groups in Leicester City in 2017.

Currently the Leicester City ASSIST service on Clyde Street provides GP services for patients in the asylum process, while patients in the homeless community receive GP care at Charles Berry House and the Dawn Centre. The services support patients with a range of complex health and social care needs. These could include mental health issues, addiction, housing, employing and social isolation.

At the end of 2015 Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) engaged with patients in these communities about GP services, as the contracts with the current service providers were due to end. As a result of their feedback, a decision was made to carry out a health needs assessment and service review of the communities that use the service due to the patients’ complex health needs.

The health needs analysis was conducted by Leicester City Council Division of Public Health and supported by Leicester City CCG who conducted engagement with patients accessing the services.

Four options as well as the Health Needs Analysis were recently presented to the Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC), the Board at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for making the final decision on the future of the services.

The PCCC took into account the vast analysis, engagement with patients and local voluntary sector organisations and providers and as a result identified two viable options out of the four. Patients as well as general public and stakeholders are now being asked for their views on two options:

Option 1:  Merge the homeless service and asylum seeker service together to form one specialist practice to be delivered from city centre locations but smaller clinics delivered where there is a high concentration of patient groups.

Option 2: continue with individual services with outreach options included as part of the contract.

Two further options which the PCCC discussed were:

Option 3: develop a community based service for local GP practices to deliver services for the patients with some enhanced or specialist features.

Option 4: mainstream these patients into primary care services with no specialist service available.

People now have the opportunity to help develop the service further, as the CCG now enters the next phase of seeking final views on Options 1 and 2, from service users, local people, stakeholders and wider voluntary sector organisations in Leicester. To have your say you can email beinvolved@leicestercityccg.nhs.uk or visit the website for further information.

Additionally two informal meetings are being held for service users, stakeholders and the public to hear more about the proposed options. Both meetings will take place on Thursday August 4, 2016 at Leicester City CCG, Conference Room, St John’s House, 30 East Street, Leicester, LE1 6NB:

9.30am – 12.00pm – Asylum Seeker Service Discussion

12.30pm – 2.00pm – Homeless Service Discussion

Professor Azhar Farooqi, Chair at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have spent a considerable amount of time gathering information to make sure we get this right for patients who use the service. Some of these patients have very complex and have specific health needs, and placing them into mainstream healthcare is not always appropriate. We have spoken to stakeholders who provide services to these groups and to patients first hand and we know their preference was to merge both homeless and ASSIST services under one roof or for the services to remain as they are.

“The review and the extensive engagement work we have done gave us real opportunity to find out as much as we could about the local homeless and refugee/asylum seeking populations, and this really was at the heart of the decision.

“Our purpose as a CCG is to make sure that patients receive the most appropriate service to their needs,  and that we use the limited resources of the NHS to the best possible benefit for those who require health care  at a time of need.”

Taking the public view on board is an important part of our decision making and we would also like to use this as an opportunity to thank everyone who has given their views to date”. If you would like to attend the discussions please register with Jayne Giulianotti on 0116 295 1469 or email jayne.giulianotti@leicestercityccg.nhs.uk  before Monday August 1, 2016.


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