GP surgeries join forces

August 01 2019

SURGERIES in Keynsham are working together more closely to help ensure the best service for patients in the face of the challenges to general practice.

The medical practices of St Augustine’s, Temple House and Westview, which together serve 25,000 people, have formed Keynsham Primary Care Network.
It is led by two clinical directors: Dr Nick Woodward, a partner at St Augustine’s and Dr Charles Bleakley, a partner at Westview.
Bath & North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group says the formation of the PCN and four parallel networks across the district will enable more proactive, personalised and coordinated care.
“Primary Care Networks will help to make sure that patients are supported and signposted to the health and care professional who is best placed to help - this could be a GP, pharmacist, district nurse, physiotherapist, paramedic, physician associate, as well as staff working in social care or the voluntary sector,” a spokesman said.
“The development of PCNs will support patients to get appointments more quickly and access services that are closer to home. The model aims to free up time for GPs so they can focus more on supporting patients with more complex conditions.”
Practices will have more opportunities to share clinical expertise and staff, the spokesman  added. This work has already begun; for example, have worked collaboratively to jointly employ two advanced nurse practitioners to carry out home visits.
 Dr Brynn Bird, Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) GP Board member and GP at St Augustine's Medical Practice, said Primary Care Networks would make a real difference to people’s health and care.
“The establishment of five PCNs in B&NES is critical to improving the overall quality of community based care,” he said.