Two health Trusts have joined the Waterloo House GP practice in Millom as partners in a unique and ground breaking move that is already seeing more patients receive care locally in Millom.
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) joined the Waterloo House GP practice in Millom as partners on the 1st July 2016 after it was formally approved at the Board of Directors at each Trust.
The partnership will see the existing GPs remaining as partners in the surgery and providing overall clinical leadership for patients within the practice with the health trusts running the business side of the surgery including financial and support services such as IT, workforce, procurement, estates and equipment. The two Trusts will also join the overall leadership and management team to ensure a co-ordinated approach across the partnership.
Dr Richard Walker, GP from Waterloo House surgery said, “We are very pleased to have the two health Trusts join the practice as partners. It is well known that there is a shortage of GPs nationally and Millom is no exception. The new partnership means that GPs and primary care staff, including new clinical staff roles can spend more time where it matters – with the patients – than having to manage the business side of the surgery. It’s better for patients because the partnership approach means the community will benefit from truly integrated care, more care closer to home and the expertise of staff from many different organisations working together for the health of the population of Millom.”
Joining the partnership from UHMBT are Dr Paul Grout, Deputy Medical Director and Kate Maynard, Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Dr Paul Grout said, “Its early days, but the work we have been doing over the last few months is already showing promising signs, with a 23% reduction in unplanned admissions to our acute hospitals. This new way of working has huge potential to be delivering more care locally in Millom and looking after the health needs of the population much more effectively.”
Representatives from CPFT who will join the leadership team include Dr John Howarth, Deputy CEO and Dee Houghton, Associate Director of Operations for South Cumbria Community Services. Dr John Howarth said, “We have already been able to work up a robust financial plan for the future and we are now working on innovative new models to improve recruitment by creating new roles across our partnership. Our most immediate challenge is to secure upgraded premises as the existing facilities are extremely cramped and very challenging for both staff and patients. We will be working urgently with NHS England to access the funds they granted last year so we can deliver the planned extension that the community so desperately needs.
Dr Geoff Jollife, GP Lead for Furness said, “The work that has been happening in Millom has the support of the community and is being held up as a national exemplar for the new ways of working nationally. This is really ground breaking and the first example of its kind in England with huge potential to be rolled out across the Bay Health Care System and further afield.”
The partnership has the support of the broader Millom Alliance which is a partnership made up of all organisations delivering health and care to the population of Millom and the local community has the support of Bay Health & Care Partners.