What We Have Done

Project Name:  Carers Clinics


Place/Area covered: Amber Valley & South Derbyshire Dales

Clinical Lead: Dr Kaysia Heafield

Background and aims


The Carers Clinics run monthly at most practices facilitated by the local Carer Support Worker from DCA, they are open access and aim to support carers to care effectively and safely, look after their own health and well-being, fulfil their education and employment potential and to have a life of their own alongside caring responsibilities.               

What it’s achieved

This new service had great feedback both from the Clinical Support Worker, the individuals seen and carers reviewed, benefiting from a full carers assessment and getting positive outcomes from their appointments.

Key learning to share


Integrating a charities work within general practice has already been proven by the successful provision of Citizens Advice Bureau Clinics within practices.

Project Name:  Children and young people’s  Counselling (SafeSpeak)


Place/Area covered: Ripley

Clinical Lead:  Dr Andrew Mott

Background and aims


To provide specialist children and young people’s counselling services (“Safe Speak”) in two specific locations in the Amber Valley area (GP practice accessible by all 6 GP practices and a School site) as well some online (virtual) service via LiveChat.                         

The aim: to provide children and young people with access to specialist counsellors who can support them with their emotional and mental wellbeing. This early intervention aims to ensure that the young people can get the support they need in a timely way and so prevents more costly intervention at a later stage when other services - offer short term counselling intervention (averaging 12 sessions per person). Will also ensure close collaboration with practices, schools and Public Health Nurses. 

What it’s achieved

This project has increased capacity for some of our area - first quarter reporting shows the service is in high demand with 20 young people on the waiting list in general practice and the school-based provision at capacity. Those young people seen have shown measurable improvements in wellbeing (YP CORE).                

In addition, 83 school staff across 4 sites have received a stress and anxiety training course across the locality with expressed interest from other schools in the area. Feedback from this has been very positive. 

Key learning to share


We are testing the models of delivery being partly in school and partly in GP practices to see what works best. Being in school has helped the visibility of the service and helped teachers/support staff to manage lower level concerns themselves.

Project Name:  Practice-based Note Summarisers


Place/Area covered: Ripley

 Lead: Practice Managers

Background and aims


The 6 Practices from the Ripley area, (Crich, Ivy Grove, Jessop MP, Ripley MC, Parkside and Somercotes) have historically worked closely together (and with other Amber Valley Practices) but following the collaborative working initiative set up by SDCCG, this arrangement was formalised and has emerged as the Amber Valley Collective.      

All 6 PMs met initially to discuss possible ways of working together collaboratively with a view to improving and streamlining services.  Initially this was in non-clinical areas and we discussed back-office functions to see how/if we could work together for the benefit of all.  After some discussion we decided, for our first project, to look at the role of notes summariser within each practice with a view to standardising the protocol and employing summarises across all practices.  

What it’s achieved

  • Built on the existing foundation of good working relationships and developed further collaborative working

  • Provided a closer mutual support mechanism for PMs

  • Produced and agreed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Risk Sharing Agreement between the practices

  • Standardised and agreed the Summarising Protocol

  • Produced an AVC job description, person spec, and pay scale

  • Successfully recruited 2 summarisers, 4 of the 6 practices are currently involved and 2 currently act as the employing practice for 1 summariser

  • Collaborated with a HR consultant to draw up a new AVC contract and Staff handbook.This is developing and we are currently helping the consultant produce documents that can be used by other practices and federations

  • Both summarisers successfully completed a 6 month probationary period in June and both they and the practices are happy with the new roles

  • Improvement in standard of summarising and back-logs being addressed

  • Reduction in summarising time for notes already summarised by AVC when patients move between the practices

  • Production of document templates suitable for use if AVC expands and working agreements already in place

  • Held an away day for GPs and PMs of all 6 practices 

Key learning to share


  • Finding a suitable first project was not as easy as we first thought

  • Communication is key both between parties of AVC and with employees

  • Do not underestimate time and commitment required to undertake such a venture especially as no back-fill available and the ‘day job’ is still to do

  • Establish CCG commitment to project

  • Encourage CCG to share learning, positive and otherwise from all projects within the CCG to inform future projects and to recognise achievements of all groups

  • In these rapidly changing times closer support of colleagues is invaluable