A GP practice in Market Weighton which was facing an uncertain future will now provide a broader range of services.
Market Weighton Group Practice becomes the first of a new breed of health centres in East Yorkshire offering services traditionally found in a hospital setting.
The surgery was struggling to recruit new GPs following the recent retirement of two of the partners in the practice, which left an increased workload for the remaining two partners.
They approached Humber NHS Foundation Trust for help, and the trust agreed to take over the running of the practice, and turn it into a ‘one stop shop’ with the ability to combine traditional GP services with some hospital services.
The surgery, on Medforth Street, which serves 9,500 patients in Market Weighton and surrounding villages, will now widen its services after becoming the first Multispecialty Community Provider (MCP) in East Yorkshire.
MCPs have been created by NHS England, in its ‘Five Year Forward View’ plan, to create more collaborative healthcare.
They can employ senior nurses, consultant physicians, geriatricians, paediatricians and psychiatrists to work alongside community nurses, therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, and social workers.
Dr Clive Henderson, who has been a partner at the practice for the past 27 years, said: “We used to be a four-partner surgery, and now we’re two. We were having trouble recruiting and retaining GPs, and we were finding it very difficult to maintain a quality service, given the resources we had.
“We had found that the increasing demand with an older population with long term conditions, out of hospital care, led to greater pressures. We were having to work differently, using nurses instead of doctors, and healthcare assistants, instead of nurses. But we were still not maintaining the services we wanted to give, with the resources we had.
“We both felt we would have had to leave unless we could find a solution. Rather than ending in early retirement, we approached the trust to run our services.
“We are the first GP practice to go down the route of using the MCP model, so we are innovating. Our surgery is now more of a ‘one stop shop’. Our patients will benefit from having physiotherapists, district nurses, wound clinics and access to pharmacists on site.
“This will free up a GP to do what we trained for ten years to do.”
David Hill, Chief Executive at Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is delighted with this new partnership with the surgery, and we intend to build on what is there, so that the practice will grow and flourish. This is great news for patients, and shows what can be achieved by working together.
“We are very proud to be involved in the first model of this kind in the region, and are extremely confident that it is going to lead the way in terms of providing better care and services for the community.
“We’re already looking at ways we can strengthen what’s available at the surgery and we hope that patients will share their experiences, and work with us, to bring about change and improvement”.