Introducing the PRIMARY CARE NETWORK
The NHS is 70 years old. Since it was formed the population in the UK has grown dramatically and we are living longer, often with complex conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and dementia or other mental health issues. So, it’s more important than ever that we offer effective health care to the entire population.
From 1 July, Mere Surgery will become part of the Sarum West Primary Care Network (PCN). PCNs are being introduced to provide more integrated care to patients across the country. GP surgeries will share our expertise and resources over a wider geographical area. We will work with each other, social services, pharmacists, physiotherapists, hospitals, mental health professionals and voluntary organisations to deliver an ever better, joined-up service to patients.
Sarum West will be one of many Primary Care Networks across the country, each of which will typically have a population of 30,000-50,000 patients.
What does this mean for you?
- We will get additional staff to help us improve care in various areas, and these staff will work across all the practices in Sarum West.
- We should be able to reduce waiting times by ensuring your appointments are handled by the most appropriate healthcare professional. This means you might not always need to see a GP – a physiotherapist may better meet your needs, for example – and this will help to free up GP time and provide more opportunities for individual care.
- We will continue to offer evening and weekend appointments in the wider area.
- In due course we should also be able to provide even more services out of hospital.
- We will be sharing and learning from best practice across Sarum West, and the support of a wider network of professionals will help secure the future of our surgery.
- Once the PCN is established, we should gain increased funding from the NHS, which will help us expand our workforce and introduce new services.
- We’ll be asking you if we can share your information with other healthcare providers. This will mean you won’t have to keep explaining your illness when you are referred to another part of the health service.
What are we doing now?
Mere Surgery is currently part of Sarum West locality, which involves us working together with our fellow GP surgeries. Our key focus has always been Putting Patients First, and the formation of Primary Care Networks will build on what we have already been doing through our locality work.
In Sarum West locality we already have a project underway which is helping to prepare us move to PCN status. This is what we are doing:
- Arranging Mental Health training for surgery staff so we can provide better support to patients with mental health issues across the locality.
- Introducing the AGE UK Living Well programme, where we have two AGE UK workers joining the locality to help us improve the wellbeing of older patients, providing non-medical support to those who need it.
- Seeking to Build links with Social Services to improve team working so we can deliver more effective care to vulnerable children and adults.
- Building better links and sharing good practice to provide good Carer Support to the many unpaid carers in the locality.
- Reviewing our Workforce Resilience, to consider how we can maximise the use of our resources – both people and funding.
- Spreading good practice on Quality and Safety and making sure all standards are met consistently, particularly in the delivery of End of Life Care.
As you can see, introduction of the Primary Care Network will reflect how we have been working for some time in Sarum West. The full list of surgeries in our locality, which will form this PCN, is:
- Courtyard, West Lavington
- Shrewton )
- Wilton ) The Orchard Partnership
- Codford )
- Fovant )
- Sixpenny Handley ) The Sixpenny Handley and Chalke Valley Practice
- Broad Chalke )
Dedication to a high standard of patient care has always been at the heart of what we do and, by working in a network with other surgeries and healthcare professionals, our practice will become stronger and allow us to give you a comprehensive set of services and support your self-care.
This change will underpin Putting Patients First, as the focus of the Primary Care Network will be person-centred, rather than disease centred.
The world has changed in the last 70 years, and we are also changing to ensure that we can continue to provide you with a high level of service, and that all our patients get the right access to care for their needs.
If you have any questions about theses changes please speak to your GP.