We thought this might be of use, we got asked some questions today and that cover the local area and “some” of our healthcare challenges and relates to the West Malling Group Practice options of plans for the future.
The NHS are pushing for more larger practices, Practices to potential even collaborate together under one roof and be 30,000 patients in size. Many Practices across West Kent and looking at this and creating collaborations.
Many articles from the NHS have been published on NHS plans and a push towards collaboration of small sites to make large practices. Many benefits of this have been highlighted of better care, reduced costs etc all important for the survival of the NHS.
We have many challenges in our own catchment area so we will definitely not look to extend to our wider catchment area at the present time, partly due to increased development planned and agreed already within our present boundaries.
There are so many parts of a puzzle that make up what is feasible and what is not, everything we do has to be linked to NHS 5 year forward view plan and most of what we do has to be agreed with West Kent CCG. West Kent CCG are there to ensure NHS England plan happens locally in West Kent.
We are also not a small practice so collaboration with other Practices is reviewed regularly, but so far are not feasible to improve the care or services for our catchment area. Small practices are around 4,000 – 6,000 patients so because we have 20,300 patients we are in a different situation to many other practices.
However the NHS plan is to move all Primary Care services into commercially viable buildings in a move away from the cottage industry it once was and the residential buildings it started in, does apply and is relevant to us.
The NHS plan to look at Practices to have services for around 30,000 patients in one location is relevant to us, due to our size even before collaboration.
Infrastructure and planning of “IF” the reality of NHS Super Practice plan is right for our catchment area is the question we are researching internally at the moment. We are working with West Kent CCG and with local authorities to create services in the future that are outstanding and allows the right access for all demographics within our catchment area. A service and facilities that we can all be proud of and that caters for all of our needs. We are looking at all options and we will ensure any changes in sites, more sites or less sites caters for the needs of our patient base and services we offer. We are working towards our services being rate as outstanding by our patients, that the services offered are responsive to any changes, that the services support the elderly and all vulnerable groups that exist within our catchment area.
We hope that as we communicate and share our thoughts, then we can share the challenges we face together. We want to show our patients our aim which is to create the best service for all our patients. I am happy to look into any what if questions, in order to create the dream primary care service for our catchment area. Rome was not built in a day…. we can’t put a date on it yet either, but we are on our way to making our vision a reality for our patients and the primary care services needed within our catchment area.
The WMGP Managers & Partners