An East Cheshire-based GP practice, the Middlewood Partnership, which formally merged in order to successfully transform its clinical and business models, is sharing insights, via a new video, with colleagues across the health and social care sector.
The video – General Practice Redefined – explains Middlewood’s clinical care model in practical terms, which is underpinned by a single digital point of access and is fully integrated with local community and social care partners.
Before merging, there were four independent practices working in a loose, collaborative arrangement over what is now a PCN footprint. This experience led to the realisation that only by fully merging would they be able to realise the benefits of working at scale.
The formal merger took place in April 2019 and the 140 staff strong partnership serves 33,000 patients in three neighbouring villages in North East Cheshire
“We used the merger to facilitate the transformation of our services, improving accessibility, quality, experience and safety of care” said Paul Bowen, GP Partner and Middlewood Medical Director. “It also enabled us to integrate, including physical co-location at one of our practice bases, with our local health and social care colleagues, Team Bollington, Disley and Poynton (BDP). A single partnership on a PCN footprint has provided so many opportunities to do things differently at scale which would never be possible as separate partnerships ”
The partnership was an early adopter, in September 2019, of a single digital point of access which enables clinical and non-clinical patient requests to be reviewed, prioritised and allocated to the most appropriate professional in Middlewood or Team BDP.
Rhoda Gaylo, Community Coach for East Cheshire NHS Trust, said “As a single partnership over the whole primary care network population, we have access to GPs with responsibility for the whole community for support and advice. This enables very quick decision making, and referrals between organisations are all done in-house, so there are no delays. Our ways of working are aligned, and we have an efficient feed of two-way information and common goals for patient care.”
Middlewood has already seen numerous benefits from their transformation, for their patients, staff and the organisation.
“Of course, we still need to develop things further” continued Paul Bowen. “But, having got so far and seen the all-round positives, we wanted to share our transformation story with wider health and social care colleagues, who may be grappling with some of the same issues we faced prior to our merger.
“Our experience is that a bold, radically different, clinical and business approach can make significant inroads into the pressing challenges faced by most GP practices, such as responsiveness to patients’ needs, staff work-life balance and organisational resilience.”
To watch the video – General Practice Redefined – and find out more about Middlewood’s transformation story, including the benefits, click here. Information about how their clinical model works can also be found here.
Team BDP, including Middlewood, has been shortlisted in the 2021 Health Service Journal’s Value of the Year awards category.