Clinical directors were urged to highlight the wider issues that impact the health of their patients at the inaugural Pulse PCN conference in Manchester last week.
In his session on population health management (PHM), chief medical director at Manchester and Trafford local care organisation, Dr Sohail Munshi, urged network leaders to ‘influence and provoke’ the health system to ensure PHM considers the wider determinants of health outcomes beyond health and care services.
‘Social determinants of health account to about 80-85% of health outcomes. If we’re not getting involved, we’re probably just fire-fighting the last 15%.
‘I’m not saying we should be delivering it but that we should be influencing the system about the wider determinants of health and giving our view about it,’ he said.
Dr Munshi has worked with Manchester City Council for the last four years as part of devolution. He found that while councils work diligently on neighbourhood services GPs are uniquely placed support them as they see the effects of housing, employment, benefits, lack of green space or safe areas.
‘We’re the only ones who get all that coming through the door and, while we’re not experts in those things, we are experts in helping to think about what things will influence the health outcomes of our patients,’ he added saying that clinical directors should also focus on the first 1000 days of a child’s life when thinking about PHM as they are a key indicators for future outcomes.
Dr Munshi also urged PCNs to work with CCGs to get the right managerial support and infrastructure to improve population health outcomes.
There were ten sessions at the one-day conference held at the Crowne Plaza, which included expert talks on making sense of Integrated care systems, health inequalities and continuity of care.
The next events in the series, which are free to attend, will be in Birmingham on October 20 at the Hilton Metropole and London on November 25 at the Holiday Inn London, High Street Kensington.