Whitehawk set for improved local GP services

Residents in the Whitehawk area are set to benefit from improved access to GP services, following the awarding of the contract to a new provider.

The contract has been awarded to Wellsbourne Healthcare Community Interest Company (CIC) to provide GP services following work with the local community to procure the new service. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), the local provider of NHS community health and care services, will support the CIC to deliver the new contract. This means the local community will benefit from SCFT’s expertise and support at the new practice, as well as the experienced GP and nurse team who currently provide services from the GP surgery.

Residents in the Whitehawk area face additional health challenges compared to the wider population, including higher rates of heart disease, COPD and cancer, more emergency hospital admissions and more adults and children living in poverty and smokers than the national averages.

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be funding additional resources for the surgery to improve the community’s health and is supporting the practice to provide a range of extended services, including community health engagement workers.

The new service will offer an improved primary medical provision, delivered by a multi-disciplinary team, including GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse, Healthcare Assistant, Pharmacist and Health Engagement worker.

The new contract means the community will be offered more opportunities to be seen and treated, with an 8am to 6.30pm service provided Monday to Friday. The practice will undertake extended appointments and home visits, providing a more proactive form of care and reducing avoidable dependence on the local hospital.

The new service will be easily accessible by public transport as the Whitehawk area is regularly served by buses, which stop outside the surgery and run every 15 minutes almost all day.

Dr David Supple, Clinical Chair of the CCG, said:

We are committed to ensuring patients of Whitehawk enjoy the highest and most consistent quality of care on offer. The new contract will provide sustainable care services for local people, with strong clinical leadership and firm commitment to the local community.

Dr. Sutcliffe, from Wellsbourne Health Centre, said:

We are delighted to announce that the Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC have been awarded the contract to provide general practice services from Wellsbourne Health Centre.

Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC is a clinically led organisation with many decades of experience working in the Brighton area. Our aim is to build on the traditional GP model, working to enable our community to take control of their health and wellbeing, particularly addressing the impact that the wider effects of socioeconomic deprivation can have on our patients’ chance to live long, happy and healthy lives.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive, SCFT said:

I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to work in partnership with this exciting new Community Interest Company, and that the CCG has backed our vision for the future of this vital GP service. By working closely with the experienced clinical leadership team at Wellsbourne GP Surgery we are committed to ensuring that local people in Whitehawk and surrounding areas experience and have access to vital GP services. The surgery will be working with the local population to better support them with their health and care needs, with a focus to avoid unnecessary attendances at the local hospital.

The new contract comes about after Ardingly Court practice partners decided last autumn to divide their practice, to set up two separate practices, serving two different populations. Brighton and Hove CCG has acted to help split the single contractual arrangements into two and procure a new provider to serve Whitehawk, helping to ensure the community maintains access to GP services. Patients who are currently registered with the existing two site practice will be given a choice of which of the two sites they wish to be seen at, which will become effective from 1 April 2018.

A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community. Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC, a new Community Interest Company, has been set up for the benefit of the local community and will become effective from 1 April 2018. The CIC includes the existing GP and nursing clinical leadership team at Wellsbourne Surgery who are working together with SCFT.

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