Northumbria’s GP partnership goes from strength to strength
A business partnership launched by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with local GPs to offer a wide range of professional support services to primary care is going from strength to strength.
Set up in April 2015, Northumbria Primary Care Ltd (NPC) now manages five GP practices with around 36,000 registered patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside. It provides everyday support to deliver corporate functions, enabling family doctors to focus on providing care to patients.
And patients at the practices have already seen improvements since they joined NPC, including earlier routine and same-day appointments. Further improvements are planned including a new centralised appointment system to improve response times further, and ensure patients see the most appropriate healthcare professional as quickly as possible.
NPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northumbria Healthcare, one of the top performing NHS organisations in the country, currently employs around 150 staff and during the past year key new roles have been introduced into the clinical teams including nurse practitioners and clinical pharmacists.
The practices are Ponteland Medical Group in Ponteland, Collingwood Medical Group in Blyth, Cramlington Medical Group in Cramlington, Spring Terrace Health Centre in North Shields and 49 Marine Avenue Surgery in Whitley Bay.
NPC is led by local GPs and builds on years of successful collaboration between primary and acute care in Northumberland and North Tyneside.
Dr Nigel Twelves, GP for Ponteland Medical Group and clinical director of Northumbria Primary Care Ltd. He said: “The development of NPC last year was a hugely exciting development in the NHS here in the North East, entirely made possible by the extremely close links between primary and acute care that exists in this part of the country.
“I am delighted with the progress we’ve made inside our first year and a half and that we are now managing five GP practices – leaving family doctors to concentrate on delivering care.
“Already patients are experiencing benefits with earlier routine and same-day appointments with more improvements in the pipeline from the central appointment line which is due to go live soon.
“We look forward to working with more practices in the future and sharing our expertise.”
Similar services from other providers in the private sector already exist in the market however this is the first time such as venture has been launched by an NHS foundation trust.