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  • The HealthGIS maps have been influential in remodelling the GP out-of-hours service in Somerset, ensuring the model developed best meets the needs of our patients.

    Ann Anderson, Director of Clinical Commissioning Development

During 2012–13, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) undertook a strategic review of the primary care out-of-hours service across the county. South West Commissioning Support supported the CCG to deliver the review programme.

The challenge

A significant element of the review was a series of facilitated stakeholder workshops to gather intelligence about the service and how it could be improved. These workshops were attended by a wide range of stakeholders, including health professionals as well as local patients and carers.

One of the workshops looked at how local demographics, geography and deprivation amongst the population impacts upon the out-of-hours service. For a large rural county like Somerset, with pockets of high deprivation and limited public transport, it is too complex a picture to describe and analyse easily.

The challenge was to provide information to commissioners and stakeholders in a way that could be easily understood and interpreted.

The solution

A series of maps were produced to support the service review. The maps provided insight into the population demographics across Somerset, alongside the current locations of out-of-hours service provider sites and information about how the current service has been used in the last 12 months.

The benefits

  • It provided a visual way of describing complex data to commissioners and stakeholders.
  • It demonstrated the areas of greatest need in terms of demographics, geography and deprivation.
  • The mapping enabled the CCG to model current patient travel times to out-of-hours centres, especially around the county boundaries where patients often have the furthest to travel.
  • The tool helped commissioners to identify potential locations for out-of-hours treatment centres in relation to travel times and activity data.

The products used

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