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GP surgeries to benefit from premises upgrade

​Dr​ John Whitehead says schemes will brings significant benefits for patients
GP practices are hoping to benefit from a major investment boost for some exciting new schemes.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, has announced that five schemes have been selected in South Devon and Torbay for new investment through the national Estates and Technology Transformation Fund.
These schemes are:

  • Pembroke hub: A primary care ‘hub’ based at Pembroke House to serve the patients of Pembroke House Surgery, Paignton Medical Partnership and Withycombe Lodge Surgery.  This hub will bring together primary care for about 21,000 Paignton patients and will enable closure of existing surgery buildings that will not be fit for purpose in the coming years.
  • Dartmouth Wellbeing Centre: A wellbeing centre in Dartmouth to accommodate primary care, alongside multi-agency healthcare colleagues and voluntary sector partners. The new centre will be fully accessible for patients and will enable an expansion of training opportunities for professional staff.
  • CCG-wide telephony: An improved and shared telephone system across all South Devon and Torbay practices, enabling much better signposting for patients, improved communication links between practices and hospitals, and reduced call costs within practices.
  • Secure remote access to clinical IT: GPs and other practice staff will be able to work in areas other than their usual workplace – for example, from home. This will give greater flexibility of working patterns, which should in turn improve productivity and provide some workforce resilience.
  • Teignmouth integrated care: A single general practice site in Teignmouth to bring together the existing separate GP practices currently situated within walking distance of one another.

The bids for these schemes were developed by the practices, with support from South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for the majority of healthcare in the area.

Each bid will now be considered further by NHS England, to ensure that they will benefit patients and offer value for money.

Dr John Whitehead, the CCG’s clinical lead for primary care, said: “There has been some excellent joint working between GP practices and CCG on these schemes.

“This collaboration is crucial to ensure that funding streams promised nationally are made accessible to South Devon and Torbay practices for the benefit our population.

“These schemes will make a significant difference for practices and thousands of patients.

“They aim to improve healthcare, efficiency, ease of access and communication. This will improve patients’ experience of primary care, which is often people’s first point of contact with the health system."