Gosport GP networks combine to improve patient services

THE two Gosport GP networks are planning to merge in what is stated to be a change which will improve patient services and may help to attract more GPs to the area.

Currently, the peninsular is served by the Gosport Central Primary Care Network that is comprised of the four Willow Group surgeries of Brune, Stoke Road, Forton and Waterside medical centres which have approximately 36,512 patients.

The other is Gosport West PCN which includes Bridgemary Medical Centre (8,898 patients), Bury Road Surgery (4,534), Gosport Medical Centre (13,163), Rowner Health Centre (8,535), and Solent View Medical Practice (12.453) in Lee-on-the-Solent.

The new PCN will be called Gosport Central PCN, and the NHS Hampshire Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group – which has approved the plan – says that patients can expect the day-to-day operations at each practice to remain largely as before, including existing arrangements for contacting the surgery and making appointments.

Dr Robin Harlow, currently the lead doctor for Gosport Central, will become the Clinical Director for the new-enlarged PCN and he said: “The PCN will work to continue to improve people’s health, designing services and roles to meet the local needs and challenges of our patient population.

“Working as one PCN will bring together all our team skills and strengths, experience and local knowledge, build on our success and strengthen our relationships with our colleagues at NHS Southern Health Foundation Trust, Gosport Borough Council, our local schools and voluntary services, which will in turn strengthen our resilience and improve the care we provide across our services.

“We have a well-established team of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, first contact practitioners and health and wellbeing coaches, there is a clear vision to support addressing existing health inequalities and working to improve health outcomes for the patient population, a firmly established enhanced care home team with weekly ward rounds by a multi-disciplinary team as well as community projects and close working with Gosport Voluntary Action.”

There is no suggestion in the statement by the CCG that the amalgamation of the two networks will bring further mergers of GP practices in Gosport borough.

Ways to support NHS frontline staff

When discussing the planned combined network for Gosport, Dr Harlow referred to, “all the pressures on primary care at present”, and the CCG has published a list of ways people can get the best care, and at the same time, support NHS frontline teams:

  • get vaccinated against COVID-19 – more information is available HERE
  • help patients get home when they are ready to leave hospital
  • use the Emergency Department (ED) for emergencies, not convenience
  • contact 111 online and let the experts help
  • urgent treatment centres are best for minor injuries, and have x-ray facilities
  • use the expert help available at pharmacies
  • GP practices have online access and a range of expert help
  • look after yourself
  • make use of online help – try nhs.ukfor health and medicines advice, and www.what0-18.nhs.uk/ if concerned about an unwell child.

Diabetes Prevention Programme back up and running again

Face-to-face delivery of the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme has restarted in the CCG area after being suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The nine-month scheme provides advice on healthy eating and exercise which reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and can avoid the need for medication as well as complications such as amputations.

In addition to the face-to-face programme, the CCG states: “To ensure that individuals at the highest risk of experiencing health inequalities across the programme can continue to have timely access to the appropriate support, there are remote interventions to particular tailored cohorts including those with a hearing impairment requiring British Sign Language, women with a previous diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes, service users from South Asian backgrounds who require a specific cultural and language tailored service.”

Further information about the programme can be found HERE and HERE.

Photograph (top): Consulting room (generic). Shutterstock licence