Monday, 27 January 2014

Visit to busy GP Practice

NHS general practice is never far from the headlines and the subject of intense debate, with changes and pressures affecting many aspects from out of hours care to workload and patient access.

The British Medical Association’s (BMA) GP Visit Scheme invites MPs to spend some time in a local practice to find out at first-hand what is the reality on the ground for both patients and GPs.

In a packed schedule, I spent the morning (Friday, 24th January) at the Dr Alistair Partnership at Kid Gove House, Golborne.

I met with practice staff and patients including the Patient Partnership Group and key staff members including Dr Al Thompson, Assistant Practice Manager - Kathryn Winston and Practice Manager, Helen Maung.

with practice patient Mr John Stokes
I wanted to get to the chalkface by visiting a busy local practice that really plays a key role in our community.
There are real challenges facing local practice, not least moving care away from hospitals to local practice and the upheaval of the NHS reorganisation.

However, I was very impressed by the real go-ahead approach from GPs and practice staff and a willingness to innovate and work to solve problems when they arise. Patients clearly value the services provided by the practice and the enthusiasm and professionalism of the staff.

The Dr Alistair Partnership now boasts 5,880 patients compared to 3,900 patients in 2008 with aspirations to top 6,000 patients by 2014

The practice covers Ashton-in-Makerfield, Abram, Leigh, Bryn, Orrell, Hindley, Hindley Green, Lowton, Platt Bridge and employs 26 staff members.

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