Wandsworth GPs Taking The Lead In Government Health Services

As 46 Practices establish a GP Consortium

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that Wandsworth GPs are taking the lead in the Government’s plans for commissioning health services.

46 Wandsworth GP practices have already taken strides to establish a shadow GP consortium which covers the entire borough, working with NHS Wandsworth, Wandsworth Council and local patient groups.

The Wandsworth consortium, known as a pathfinder, will be one of the early organisations to take on GP commissioning responsibilities as part of the Government’s plans set out in the Health and Social Care Bill. The pathfinder GPs will work together to manage their local budgets and commission services for patients in partnership with other NHS colleagues and local authorities.

Wandsworth GP, Dr Tom Coffey, who was among the GPs who led the pathfinder bid for the Wandsworth consortium, says:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the clinically led work we have already started in Wandsworth and make sure that local GPs and our patients are leading the decision making on health in the borough. We want to work with our patients and other clinical colleagues to maintain and improve local services.” 

Graham Mackenzie, Borough MD for Wandsworth, part of the South West London Cluster, says: “We’re delighted that Wandsworth GPs are ready to start leading the NHS locally. It’s because of the close working relationship that already exists between GPs, NHS Wandsworth and the local authority that we’ve been able to make such excellent progress. Ultimately our aim is to commission the best possible services for local people, and we will be supporting the GPs over the next couple of years to fully establish a Wandsworth GP consortium.”

An example of where Wandsworth GPs have been transforming local services is the Community Virtual Ward which aims to reduce admissions into hospital by looking after patients, who are at high risk of being admitted, in their own home.

Andrew McMylor, one of the team behind Wandsworth’s Community Virtual Ward, says:
“The virtual ward has demonstrated how, when GPs, managers and other clinicians work together as a team, we achieve excellent outcomes for our patients. The virtual ward helps vulnerable patients by preventing them from deteriorating in the first place. This a far better use of resources – and much nicer for the patient.”

The pathfinders will now begin testing the new commissioning arrangements to ensure they are working well before more formal arrangements come into place by April 2013. The Wandsworth pathfinder will officially start to shadow the PCT from 1 April 2011.

March 19, 2013