Vanguard GPs to offer longer appointments and extended hours

GP practices across south Hampshire could offer longer appointments, direct access to hospital specialists and other clinicians and extended hours after being named among areas pioneering new models of care.

Dr Nigel Watson: delighted bid has been accepted (Photo: JH Lancy)
Dr Nigel Watson: delighted bid has been accepted (Photo: JH Lancy)

NHS England has unveiled 29 areas selected to be ‘vanguard’ sites trialling models of integrated care set out in the Five Year Forward View plan for the health service.

GPs across 27 practices in south Hampshire, working with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, are among the selected sites.

The area will be one of a handful trialling the ‘multispecialty community provider’ (MCP) model, which aims to move services out of hospital and into the community.

27-practice scheme

Practices across Gosport, East Hampshire, and the south-west New Forest will take part in the integrated care scheme, which aims to expand beyond the initial 27 practices taking part within weeks, to ‘double the coverage’ of the scheme.

A statement from the foundation trust said the MCP would be ‘developed around GP practices and bring in nurses, hospital specialists, therapists and other community-based professionals to provide joined up care tailored to the needs of patients and their local communities’.

It said the scheme would be tailored to local needs and rely on ‘clinical leadership from local GPs, community and social care teams’.

The scheme will offer access to a wider range of services through local GP practices, and could see patients offered the chance to address multiple problems within a single visit to a GP practice.

Longer GP appointments

Practices may offer longer opening hours and longer appointments for patients with long-term conditions.

Katrina Percy, chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to be among the first partnerships selected to be awarded MCP status by NHS England.

‘Recent pressures on acute hospitals across the country demonstrate that current models of care are just not fit for the changing needs of our population. Too many people are spending too long in hospitals when with the right support they could remain in their own homes. The MCP model is our best hope to transform the way we deliver healthcare in Hampshire so people get the right care, at the right place and time.’

Wessex LMCs chief executive Dr Nigel Watson said: ‘I am delighted that we have been successful in our bid. What was even more important than winning the bid was seizing the opportunity to work with like-minded clinicians and managers to develop a model that removes organisational barriers, provides better services for patients and makes general practice more sustainable.

‘I believe this is about a sustainable, out-of-hospital model, which needs fill the void between acute care and general practice.’

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