More Ipswich GPs could unite to become 'super surgeries'
PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 15 October 2018
A series of 'super-surgeries' is being explored in Suffolk which would bring a host of primary healthcare services together under one roof.
Plans are ongoing to create the Mildenhall Hub – a facility integrating GP and other health services with public provision such as councils and police.
Now the sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) and clinical commissioning groups have reported that other public service hubs are being explored for Newmarket, Brandon, Haverhill and Newmarket – while proposals for five hubs specifically dedicated to health services are being pursued in Ipswich.
Newmarket’s hub has been driven by the relocation of the Oakfield GP surgery to the hospital site, and encouraging other services such as mental health, community provision, outpatient work, physiotherapy and x-ray services to join.
STP bosses said the hubs were the future for primary healthcare in the county.
“It’s a one stop approach which has got to be better for the patient and how we manage our health services,” said Amanda Lyes, corporate services chief.
“It would reduce running costs so there would be efficient financial savings but also it’s about making sure we provide the top patient services.”
In July 2016, the £6million Two Rivers Medical Centre opened in Ipswich, combining the Lattice Barn and Woodbridge Road practices.
It is understood the plan for Ipswich will feature more of those style practices, which help various health services communicate better, slashes running costs and reduces the need for people to visit busy hospitals.
A report presented to Suffolk County Council’s health scrutiny panel said that the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG working alongside Ipswich Borough Council had identified five potential hubs where practices could unite, with the council offering to be “property developer and landlord” for the Ipswich hubs.
Simon Morgan, head of communications at the STP added: “This is what people have been telling us – they want services to speak to each other, and we are very excited – this is definitely the way forward, that collaboration with a multitude of services.”
Paul Driscoll, medical director of Suffolk GP Federation, said: “We have been working with GP practices across our membership to encourage greater partnership working for some time.
“These collaborations can take many different forms and one of those is for neighbouring GP practices and other healthcare services to come together under one roof.
“More joined up working allows us to share resources, promote best practice and communicate better – improving the overall patient experience.
“It’s an approach that I think will become more and more popular as we look to find innovative solutions to the challenges currently faced by primary care.”