The biggest transformation to the way family doctors work in more than a generation has been launched in Knowsley.
Primary Care Networks (PCN’s) see general practices, large and small, working to support each other while offering a wider range of specialist care services to patients from a range of health professionals.
In Knowsley, there are three networks; South and East Knowsley PCN – their Clinical Director is Dr Dawn Heath; Kirkby PCN – their Clinical Director is Dr Mike Merriman; and West Knowsley PCN – their Clinical Director is Dr Adit Jain. All 25 Knowsley GP Practices have joined one of these three networks. To see a full list of GP practices and what network they are part of, click here.
GPs will recruit multi-disciplinary teams, including pharmacists, physiotherapists, paramedics, physician associates and social prescribing support workers, freeing up family doctors to focus on the sickest patients.
This new way of working will mean that up to 40 per cent of GP appointments can be with a practitioner instead of a Doctor, freeing up GP’s time to spend with those with patients who need them most, offering longer appointments and ensuring patients can get a wide range of expert specialist services at their local practice.
The NHS will also continue to recruit more practice nurses and GPs, with the number of young doctors choosing to train as GPs now at a record high.
Patients will also have a range of options when it comes to getting appointments at their practice, including the introduction of digital appointments, which will build on the progress which saw evening and weekend appointments made available across the country at the end of last year, with an estimated nine million appointments a year now available at more convenient times.
In Knowsley, patients are able to benefit from extra GP appointments during normal surgery hours, in the evening and at the weekend. These additional appointments are available in four NHS sites across the borough.
Dr Andrew Pryce, GP and Chair of NHS Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is delighted with the enthusiasm amongst our GPs.
He said: “This is great news for patients in Knowsley. Primary Care Networks will change the way we see health care delivered within the local community and will become so much more convenient to access.
It builds on the strong history of excellence in Primary Care in Knowsley. The CCG will continue to work with our member practices and support the PCN chairs with their network set-up.”
Dianne Johnson, Chief Executive of NHS Knowsley CCG added:
“Primary Care Networks allow the practices within them to think differently about the services they are offering to their patients.
“By working together, they can share the workload and ease pressure on the individual practice teams. As primary care networks develop, they will work closely with other health and social care partners and the wider system to offer better access to a wider range of joined-up services more quickly for people who need them most.”
Dr Andrew Pryce, Knowsley GP and CCG Chair