Archive for July, 2009

New health centre needs a name

Posted on July 31, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Hartlepool Mail | By Peter Tennick | 31 July 2009

PEOPLE are being given the chance to come up with a name for a new £18m health centre.

FINAL FLAGSTONE: Left to right, Steve Wallace, MP Iain Wright, Chris Willis, chief executive NHS Hartlepool, and Ali Wilson.

FINAL FLAGSTONE: Left to right, Steve Wallace, MP Iain Wright, Chris Willis, chief executive NHS Hartlepool, and Ali Wilson.

The final work has been completed on the outside of the new health centre in Park Road, Hartlepool, after Hartlepool Primary Care Trust chairman Steve Wallace laid the last flagstone during a ceremony in the creation of the state-of-the-art facility.

Work is now starting on the inside of the building and health chiefs say they are on course to open the centre, on the former Barlow’s site, in May next year.

Bosses are asking people to come up with a name for the building and the winner will be in line for a prize.

Ali Wilson, director of health systems development, said: “It is a flagship community development and that’s why we want to engage the public.

“It is their building in the centre of their town and we want to find a name people want to associate with the building.”

As a prize the Life Centre at High Tunstall College of Science has provided a six-month gold membership to allow the competition winner to use the swimming pool, gym and take part in a range of classes for free.

The three-storey building will have three GP practices, community dentistry, pharmacy, sexual health, diagnostics, audiology and respiratory services. The centre will also have a gait assessment area, the first in Hartlepool, for people with back and leg problems.

Health bosses have also commissioned the creation of and extension at the front of the building for a £2m minor injuries unit.

The unit, which will extend the front of the building to the roadside, will be equipped to deal with patients suffering with cuts, bruises, breaks and sprains.

Ms Wilson said: “It is on target in terms of time and funding on everything and we still expect to open the doors in May 2010.”

People can post suggestions to Nicky Easby, Internal Communications Officer, Communication & Engagement Team, NHS Hartlepool, Riverside House, High Force Road, Middlesbrough, TS2 1RH, or email

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NHS Lambeth – Akerman Road Health Centre

Posted on July 31, 2009. Filed under: LIFT, Press/News Releases |

NHS Lambeth | Building for the future | accessed 31 July 2009

Akerman Road Health Centre rapid Health and Wellbeing Impact Assessment

As part of the planning work for the new Akerman road health centre, we commissioned Inukshuk consultants to carry out a rapid Health and Wellbeing Impact Assessment in Coldharbour ward in 2009.

The purpose was:

  • To identify access issues for Coldharbour residents and Iveagh House patients when the Practice moves to the new facility.
  • To make recommendations to Akerman Project Board re the issues raised.

The consultants presented their report and its recommendations to the Akerman road Project Board in July. A summary of the report’s findings is available here.

Green light for Akerman Road 

We’re delighted to announce that Lambeth Council has granted planning permission for the construction of our new £13m health centre at the corner of Akerman Road and Patmos Road in north Brixton.

Replacing our current Myatts Field health centre, the Akerman Road centre will complement Lambeth Council’s regeneration of the Myatts Field area. When it opens in autumn 2011, it will help us to improve healthcare services and reduce health inequalities in some of most deprived areas of the borough.

Akerman Road will will sit at the heart of a network of local services, all aimed at improving the quality of services for the people of north Brixton. It will provide a top-quality home to:

  • Three GP practices: Dr Berlyn and Partners (Myatts Fields practice), Dr Mukadam (Foxley Square practice) who are moving from the Myatts Fields Health Centre and Dr Konzon and Partners (Iveagh House practice) who are currently in Loughborough Road.
  • Midwifery and community dental services run by King’s College Hospital.
  • Community healthcare services, including nursing and home visiting, run by Lambeth Community Health.
  • Services for adult and children run by Lambeth Council.
  • Bookable space for local community use.

We’ve developed our plans for the centre as part of our overall strategy to construct a number of neighbourhood centres across the borough. The first of these centres opened in December 2007 at Gracefield Gardens in Streatham, and we have plans to develop similar centres in Norwood and at Crowndale.

We will work in partnership with Building Better Health to construct Akerman Road under the nationwide NHS LIFT programme (Local Improvement Finance Trust) by which the public and private sectors work together to provide better quality health and social care premises.

NHS Lambeth chair Caroline Hewitt said: “We’ve worked closely with the local community to ensure that our plans address their needs. We’re delighted that the council’s planners have given us the green light to proceed.”

Akerman Road Health Centre by Buschow Henley Architects

The Architects’ Journal | By Emma Bass | 30 July 2009

Akerman Road

First Look: NHS Lambeth’s £13 million Akerman Road Health Centre

Akerman Road Health Centre will provide a range of services including three GP surgeries, community dentistry, children’s services, podiatry, midwifery, primary care and community health services and facilities. The centre will also be the base for Lambeth Community Services nursing teams. 

NHS LIFT developer Building Better Health was granted planning permission on their second attempt. Last week they were also given the green light in their healthcare-led generation of the New Cross Gate development

Work is anticipated to begin on Akerman Road Health Centre in early 2010.

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Walk-in and be seen

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases | Tags: , |


People who live and work in
Calderdale will now be able to access
GP services without an appointment.
Walk-in centres are being opened at
Horne Street Medical Centre, Halifax
and Todmorden Health Centre,
Todmorden. They will provide urgent
care for patients whose illness or
condition does not warrant a visit to
A&E, but does require quick medical
The two centres will open in April and
will be run from 8am – 8pm, seven
days a week, 365 days a year. Anyone
can use the walk-in services, including
residents who are already registered
with a GP practice elsewhere. The
service will be run by doctors and
nurses and will provide advice and
treatment for:

Calderdale & Huddersfield PCTs | Newsletter Issue 6 | Spring 2009

People who live and work in Calderdale will now be able to access GP services without an appointment.

Walk-in centres are being opened at Horne Street Medical Centre, Halifax and Todmorden Health Centre, Todmorden. They will provide urgent care for patients whose illness or condition does not warrant a visit to A&E, but does require quick medical attention.

The two centres will open in April and will be run from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Anyone can use the walk-in services, including residents who are already registered with a GP practice elsewhere. The service will be run by doctors and nurses and will provide advice and treatment for:

  • Family planning e.g. contraceptive advice
  • Coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms
  • Minor cuts and wounds – dressings and care
  • Muscle and joint injuries – strains and sprains
  • Skin complaints – rashes, sunburn and headlice
  • Stomach ache, indigestion, constipation, vomiting and diarrhoea.

The new centres will be operated by Care UK, an independent provider, who will also run new GP practices procured as part of Practice Plus.

These new services will provide additional support for those communities who need it most and will make inroads into reducing health inequalities.

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More GPs for Calderdale – Practice Plus

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases | Tags: , |

Calderdale & Huddersfield PCTs | Newsletter Issue 6 | Spring 2009

Calderdale’s PracticePlus programme has resulted in Care UK being appointed as the preferred provider after an open competition. The programme will bring more GPs to Calderdale, improve access to services for people in the Borough and pave the way for reductions in health inequalities.

Care UK will be providing GP-led health services for up to 9,000 patients in Todmorden and West Central Halifax, as well as two walk-in services opening in the spring.

Care UK will now be working with NHS Calderdale over the next three months to appoint up to three providers to deliver GP led services for an additional 9,000 patients in North Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and Elland.

Chief Executive of NHS Calderdale, Rob Webster, said: “I look forward to working with Care UK to appoint new partners to deliver more surgeries in North Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and Elland. We will be seeking to support all practices to ensure they have the opportunity to develop high quality services and public health initiatives for their patients. “

In 2008 Calderdale was identified by the Department of Health as one of the ‘least well’ served districts for GPs in the country.

“Practice Plus” is about buying more GP services for those residents who most need them and reducing workload in other practices in Calderdale.

Care UK is one of the UK’s leading providers of health and social care services. They have a strong record of partnership working with the NHS. Care UK run a number of GP practices, NHS walk-in centres, nursing homes and homecare services together with specialist services for children and people with mental health problems and learning disabilities.

programme has resulted in Care UK
being appointed as the preferred
provider after an open
competition. The programme will
bring more GPs to Calderdale,
improve access to services for
people in the Borough and pave
the way for reductions in health
inequalities. Care UK will be
providing GP-led health services for
up to 9,000 patients in Todmorden
and West Central Halifax, as well as
two walk-in services opening in the
Care UK will now be working with
NHS Calderdale over the next three
months to appoint up to three
providers to deliver GP led services
for an additional 9,000 patients in
North Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and
Chief Executive of NHS Calderdale,
Rob Webster, said: “I look forward
to working with Care UK to
appoint new partners to deliver
more surgeries in North Halifax,
Sowerby Bridge and Elland. We will
be seeking to support all practices
to ensure they have the
opportunity to develop high
quality services and public health
initiatives for their patients. “
In 2008 Calderdale was identified
by the Department of Health as
one of the ‘least well’ served
districts for GPs in the country.
“Practice Plus” is about buying
more GP services for those residents
who most need them and reducing
workload in other practices in
Care UK is one of the UK’s leading
providers of health and social care
services. They have a strong record
of partnership working with the
NHS. Care UK run a number of GP
practices, NHS walk-in centres,
nursing homes and homecare
services together with specialist
services for children and people
with mental health problems and
learning disabilities.
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NHS Waltham Forest has been chosen to be part of a pilot scheme to link up systems with NHS Westminster

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics |

Waltham Forest Guardian | News | 30 July 2009 

THE health service in Waltham Forest has been chosen to be part of a pilot scheme looking at linking up systems between polyclinics.

NHS Waltham Forest and NHS Westminster will work together on linking existing systems being used in primary and community care in the capital.

This includes GP systems from suppliers EMIS and INPS, the RiO community and mental health systems.

The project is set to run until March 2010 according to Healthcare for London.

The results will be shared throughout London and the project is aimed at helping to provide delivering better integrated information services.

It is set to create ‘polysystems’ which Healthcare for London defines as consisting of a ‘polyclinic hub’ with GP practices working in a network.

Key challenges were identified for the project including creating a single reception booking system able to book appointments across all polyclinic services.

NHS Waltham Forest has already opened a polyclinic in Oliver Road, Leyton.

It was one of the first to open in London and is run by a consortium of GPs through Forest Community Health and Partnership of East London Co-operative (PELC).

NHS Westminster expects to open the first of four planned polyclinics around the end of the year.

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NHS Kirklees FOI Requests

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres | Tags: |

NHS Kirklees | FOI Requests | accessed 30 July 2009

#30 Request received 12 May 2009

Please could you answer the following query under Freedom of Information. 
Q: Please provide details of the cost-per-patient for the GP-led health centre/s in your PCT* 
*Please note: Provided that the tendering process for each contract has been completed, we do not believe this information can be withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, as contracts are NHS funded with public money. This should therefore permit the information to be released into the public domain.  

Best Regards,
(name supplied)

Response sent 1 June 2009

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please find detailed below the information that the PCT holds in response to your question.

Q: Please provide details of the cost-per-patient for the GP-led health centre/s in your PCT.
The requested information cannot be released. This is on the basis of commercial interests and that its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of the NHS (Para 43(2)). Release of this information is not deemed to be in the public interest because it may prejudice the NHS’s ability to secure value for money in similar procurements and hence impact on the effective use of public funds. This is because the procurement process for aGP-led health centre is still underway in other PCT(s) within Yorkshire and The Humber; once all such closely-related procurements are completed (currently expected Autumn 2009, but subject to change) there is not expected to be any objection to releasing the information.”

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards
NHS Kirklees

#32 Request received 19 May 2009

To whom it may concern,
Please can you give me details of all the APMS contracts you have with providers covering medical or nursing services; Including the name of the provider, details of the service(s) the contract covers and its location or area.
With thanks
(name supplied)

Response sent 26 May 2009

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please find detailed below the information that the PCT holds in response to your questions.

There is one APMS contract.  This is Local Care Direct who provide a GP service (GP Led Health Centre) 
The location of this is:-

School House Practice 
Dewsbury Health Centre
Wellington Rd
WF13 1HN

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards
NHS Kirklees

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Provider announced for new GP-led healthcare centre in Kirklees

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases |

NHS Kirklees | News | 8 February 2009

A new 8am to 8pm, all-year-round GP-led healthcare practice which opens in March in Dewsbury will be run by Local Care Direct (LCD), one of the country’s largest community-owned health organisations.

Following a tender process, NHS Kirklees has awarded a contract to LCD to run the practice which will include a range of GP services. The School House Practice at Dewsbury Health Centre will provide a much-needed new GPNHS service in an area of the district which is already stretched in terms of GP services.

The new practice which is due to open on 1st March, will give local people better access to GPs and other healthcare professionals.  There are approximately 58,469 people living in Dewsbury. Currently, 33 GPs work in 14 practices in the area. The average number of patients per GP practice in Dewsbury is 2,484 compared to other parts of Kirklees where it is 1,935

The new developments will provide three aspects of care:

  • a ‘traditional’ GP practice for registered patients
  • booked appointments for non-registered patients from across the Kirklees area who find it convenient to attend the new Dewsbury practice
  • the ability to see a doctor or other health professional without an appointment for both registered and non-registered patients

A wide range of services will be available at the surgery including, among others, child health services, screening, vaccination and healthy living and support services.

These extended access services will complement the existing GP services and GP out-of-hours services in the area.

For unregistered patients, the practice will give fast access to health advice and treatment and can be used by anyone on a drop-in basis. This service will work closely with local health services, including local primary care teams, as well as voluntary organisations and social services.

Dr David Anderson, a local GP and Chair of the Professional Executive Committee at NHS Kirklees said: “This development will provide an opportunity to bring more GP services to Dewsbury. Up to 3000 patients will be able to register at the School House Practice and, with the extended opening hours, they will have a greater choice of appointment times than ever before.  This is consistent with the NHS Kirklees strategic priorities which include making sure that services are available as close as possible to people’s homes and encouraging new and innovative ways of delivering services that offer choice and are easily accessed.

“I believe the best place for someone to receive care is from their own GP, who knows them best and who has their detailed medical record to hand. However, in some cases, people may find it hard to get to their own GP, so the additional service for unregistered patients will offer them the opportunity to receive care when they might otherwise have struggled to do so.”

Emma Wilson, Chief Executive of Local Care Direct, said: “This is a great opportunity for us. We already work closely with NHS Kirklees, having provided out of hours and other services in the area for the last four years. As a community owned organisation, our job is to put patients first and we have a dedicated team which is really looking forward to the challenge of providing a wide range of additional health services at the new centre.”

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Future of Independent Sector Treatment Centres

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: ISTC, Press/News Releases |

Department of Health | News Distribution Service | 30 July 2009

The future use of Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs) in the NHS, will be fairer and on the same terms as other providers of NHS services, Health Minister Mike O’Brien announced today.

Under the changes set out today, each contract will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and new services will be commissioned by the local Primary Care Trust where they are designed to meet local needs, provide value for money and benefit patients in that community.  Primary Care Trusts are already responsible for procuring a broad range of services from NHS and independent sector providers on behalf of local patients.

In future, contracts to provide services from these treatment centres will also be paid under the same pricing arrangements as NHS providers. Services will be delivered under the terms and conditions of the standard NHS national contract for acute hospital services – the same contract used by NHS providers.

Where the NHS identifies an ongoing need for services, there will be a competitive tendering process and bidders, including those from the independent sector, will be invited to deliver services at NHS tariff prices.

Health Minister, Mike O’Brien said:

“We need providers of NHS services, to deliver safe and high quality care for patients and value for money, but there should also be consistency in pricing and contracts. In the past the Independent Sector have sometimes been guaranteed payments. In the future it is intended that contracts will operate at NHS tariff prices using the standard NHS contract for hospital services.

“Where independent sector providers offer value for money, innovation and high quality patient care, they have a role to play within the NHS.

Independent Sector Treatment Centres have helped patients by increasing choice and capacity, and reducing waiting times.

“Greater local control and day-to-day management will ensure these services are better integrated in to the local health system and reflect local needs.”

The first wave of contracts are due to end from 2010.  Both independent sector and NHS providers will be eligible to bid for the new contracts, which will be commissioned locally by the NHS, rather than by the Department of Health.

Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs) have helped improve health services for patients, reduce waiting times and improve patient choice in the NHS. More than 1.7 million operations, diagnostic assessments and primary care consultations have been provided to NHS patients at ISTCs. ISTCs have pioneered innovative approaches that have delivered improvements for patients in access to services and quality of care, such as fixed site treatment centres typically specialising in a range of elective procedures and mobile diagnostic services to NHS patients in locations close to their home.


NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department

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Governance arrangements to support PCT provider committees

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: Reports/papers |

Department of Health | 30 July 2009

This governance guidance is intended to help support PCT provider committees implement strong robust governance arrangements in order to deliver the transformation of community services.

Download Governance arrangements to support PCT provider committees (PDF, 677K)

Letter from David Nicholson – Transforming community services

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Paying for additional private care

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: Reports/papers |

Department of Health | 30 July 2009

NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson wrote on 23 March 2009, to ask SHAs to ensure that each organisation had a detailed policy in place that reflects the national principles set out in guidance. Lyn Simpson’s letter follows up on this.

Download dear colleague letter (PDF, 43K)

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LIFT-promoting firm is left in ‘disarray’

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: Journals, LIFT |

Health Service Journal BY SALLY GAINSBURY | 30 July 2009

The government-owned company established to promote private investment in primary care is in “disarray”, according to private sector contractors. 1205149__generic_money_pound_coins

Community Health Partnerships, owned by the Department of Health, was set up to promote the local improvementfinance trust model to fund capital development in primary care.

The criticism comes after a string of changes to the executive leadership at the company. Since January, Caroline Rassell has joined CHP as chief operating officer, overseeing the finance department, and director of finance and investment Anthony Bicknell has departed. This month, director of operations George Farley also left.

Private contractors have told HSJ the turnover of staff has left the company in “disarray”. They say there have been delays in approving projects and responses to significant policy developments.

Last year’s Pre Budget Report heralded an expanded role for LIFT when it suggested entire PCT estates could be transferred to LIFT companies, but CHP has yet to issue guidance on how it might work in practice.

Dissatisfaction about CHP’s role comes as the private contractors’ lobby group – the LIFT Council – has expanded its activities.

It will now take it upon itself to develop guidance on best practice and to promote LIFT as an investment vehicle.

LIFT Council chair Chris Whitehouse would not comment on whether this reflected industry dissatisfaction with CHP but said: “We cannot sit back and wait for CHP or the DH or anyone else to get out and champion LIFT. We have to do it ourselves.”

But a CHP insider said the source of private sector discontent was a recent heightened stringency on the part of CHP, which was attempting to drive harder deals with the private sector. This had inevitably slowed deals.

“[The private sector is] being called to account more than in the past. That’s not CHP in disarray, but being more on top of things,” the insider said.

CHP chief executive Sue O’Connell said the organisation had very deliberately refocused its activities on supporting PCTs.

“A rethink has also been vital in the current economic climate, when it is more important than ever to achieve best value from the public sector in infrastructure development and estate management.”

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NHS to become a landlord for private treatment centres

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: ISTC, Journals |

Health Service Journal | BY SALLY GAINSBURY | 30 July 2009

The buildings and facilities of up to 16 independent sector treatment centres will need to be bought by the NHS over the next two years at a capital cost estimated at £200m, the Department of Health has confirmed. 1205215_hospital_patient_safety

The £200m cost relates to the so-called “residual value guarantees” that were built into the first wave of the ISTC programme contracts in order to minimise the risk to the private sector of taking on five year contracts to treat and diagnose elective patients.

The guarantees – which were made in addition to guarantees around the volume of work the centres would receive – require the NHS to buy back the remaining capital assets of the centres at their capital value at the point at which the contracts expire. The latest estimate given by the DH is £200m.

The first contracts are due to expire at the end of the current financial year. The most expensive buy-backs are likely to be for the schemes in Nottingham – which the DH last year estimated would cost £41.4m – and the scheme in Cheshire and Merseyside, which the DH valued at £33.3m.

The DH has said the question of who pays that cost – the department or the local primary care trust – differs between contracts.

In a statement issued today, the DH said contracts would be renewed on a case-by-case basis. If they are renewed, ISTCs will be paid “under the same pricing arrangements as NHS providers”.

Health minister Mike O’Brien said there should “be consistency in pricing and contracts”, adding: “In the past the independent sector have sometimes been guaranteed payments. In the future it is intended that contracts will operate at NHS tariff prices using the standard NHS contract for hospital services.”

Where contracts are renewed, the NHS is now expected to act like a landlord to the private sector, which will lease the facilities.

Director of the NHS Partners Network David Worskett told HSJ that got around the expected problem the private sector would have in refinancing their investments in the current banking crisis.

“If they had to refinance the buildings that might have been a problem in the current climate,” he said. “But now they won’t have to because they will move onto a leasehold basis. The NHS will become the landlord.”

He added that the private sector supported the move to standard contracts but objected to the implication the wave one guarantees were “unfair”. “That view shows pretty short term institutional memory,” he said. Volume and capital guarantees were necessary to compensate for “a whole list of pensions and other overheads which in the rest of the NHS is picked up by the Treasury and Richmond House”.

He acknowledged the NHS had its own additional costs – doctor training and more complicated patients are the most frequently cited – but he said it “should not be beyond the wit of man in the DH to sort this out” so that transparent and fair prices could be established between the NHS and private sector.

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‘Topping out’ ceremony at Normanton GP centre

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories |

Derby Telegraph | 27 March 2009

The last roof tile has been laid at a £4.3m Derby doctors’ surgery that is set to open in June.

Developers and GPs have this week celebrated reaching the milestone in the construction of the building in St Thomas Road, Normanton.

They held a traditional ‘topping-out’ event, which saw the final tile ceremoniously placed on the roof.

The new development will be home to Lister House Surgery, currently in nearby Harrington Street, as well as a pharmacy and the Derby Open Access Centre, which offers GP access without appointments seven days a week.

About 15,000 patients are expected to use the services offered, which will include drug advice, physiotherapy, counselling and minor surgery.

The surgery has been designed by healthcare company One Medical, which will run it as an NHS service.

Rachel Beverley-Stevenson, chief executive officer at One Medical, said the private organisation had worked in partnership with public organisations.

She said: “I am delighted that we have reached the final stages of this development. One Medical has worked closely with the doctors, the primary care trust and the council to ensure we meet all the requirements of local residents.”

The open access centre is currently housed at Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and opens from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

It was set up as part of a Government scheme to establish 152 centres nationwide to help people who are unregistered or find it difficult to see a doctor in working hours.

It was the first to open in Derbyshire, with others planned for Ilkeston and Chesterfield.

The Ilkeston centre will open next month at Ilkeston Community Hospital and will cater for unregistered patients from across the county.

Patients in Ilkeston and the surrounding area will be able to register with the practice and make routine, urgent and emergency GP and nurse appointments there.

Prem Singh, chief executive of NHS Derby City, said he was pleased that Derby’s open access centre would soon have a permanent home.

He said: “We would like to congratulate the practice on making their vision a reality.

“Not only will this provide improvement for the surgeries’ patients but the new facility will also enable the trust to provide a permanent home for our new GP-led health centre.”

For more information about Lister House Surgery or to register as a patient, call Derby 271212.

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A healthy future for Oldham

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: LIFT, News stories |

Oldham PCT | News | 16 July 2009

Two multi-million pound health developments are one step nearer to completion.

Plans for new health centres in Werneth and the Shaw and Crompton area of Oldham have now been submitted to Oldham Council for approval.

It is expected that a decision will be reached in early September, following a planning committee hearing.

Subject to successful planning approval, construction is expected to begin in early 2010 and be completed in Spring 2011.

Shauna Dixon, director of clinical leadership at NHS Oldham, the primary care trust responsible for local NHS services, said: “These developments are the latest in a network across Oldham to ensure people have access to the high quality health and well-being services they deserve.

“Not only are we looking at modernising and improving health centres, but also the services that are provided within them.”

Neil Charlesworth, general manager of Community 1st Oldham, said: “We are very excited to be at the stage where the local community can see the plans for what will be two fantastic new community facilities for the Shaw and Crompton and Werneth areas of Oldham. 

“These, along with several other developments across the borough are really moving forward and this is an exciting time for all involved. We are seeing our plans for improved community facilities becoming a reality.”

The developments are being delivered as part of Oldham’s Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme. NHS Oldham is one of the leading organisations of Community 1st Oldham, which is responsible for the LIFT programme. 

There are already two new healthcare developments that have been built as part of LIFT, in the Moorside and Glodwick areas of Oldham. Later this year, the programme’s flagship development, the Oldham Integrated Care Centre, will open in the town centre next to the main bus station and will provide a wide range of services all under one roof. 

The new Chadderton Well-being Centre, led by Oldham Council, is due to open at the end of October. This will replace the old swimming baths, leisure centre and library. 

Royton’s Health and Well-being Centre is well underway and is due to open in winter 2010. This will replace the current Royton Health Centre. 

Future developments include Fitton Hill and the Saddleworth area.

Oldham LIFT developments

The first three schemes to be developed include the Town Centre, Glodwick and Moorside and plans are currently being drawn up for developments at Werneth, Crompton and Royton. Over the course of 20 years, the total programme could potentially bring in £100 million.

Better premises will help us to continue to improve our services to the people of Oldham, bringing high quality health and social care close to people’s homes and into the hearts of communities, helping us to recruit the very best health professionals, and contributing to the regeneration of some of Oldham’s neighbourhoods.

The different types of centres anticipated include:

  • Integrated Care Centres in the Town Centre, Werneth, North Chadderton and South Chadderton;
  • Primary care centres in Glodwick, Crompton and Royton;
  • Medical centres in Moorside and Werneth, plus a development in Springhead.

The Integrated Care Centres will link with smaller buildings housing GPs and other health professionals.

Community 1st Oldham (C1OL)


The Department of Health, the local healthcare community and the private sector have joined forces to establish a joint venture company: Community 1st Oldham Limited.

Oldham’s 25 year LIFT programme brings together NHS Oldham, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust and a private sector partner to develop and deliver state of the art community facilities closer to where people live and facilitate greater joined up service delivery.

The Department of Health and the local NHS retain a significant shareholding in the LIFT partnership to ensure transparency and value for money at all stages. Any benefits arising from this arrangement can also be reinvested in the local healthcare economy.

Completed schemes

  1. Glodwick Primary Care Centre
  2. Moorside Medical Centre

Ongoing schemes

  1. Chadderton Health & Well Being Centre
  2. Royton Health and Well-being Centre 
  3. Town Centre, Integrated Care Centre (Oldham)

Future schemes

  1. Crompton Primary Care
  2. Fitton Hill Neighbourhood Centre, Fitton Hill & Hathershaw
  3. Saddleworth area
  4. Werneth area
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Medicx Pharmacy: View from a Polyclinic Pharmacy

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics |

Chemist + Druggist | By Jennifer Richardson | 29 July 2009

Pharmacists continue to eye polyclinics with suspicion, but one company thinks it has found a solution. Jennifer Richardson looks inside a healthcare pharmacy.

Lord Darzi may have just stepped down as health minister, but arguably his best known and most controversial legacy to the national health service looks set to run and run.


Polyclinics may have dropped out of the limelight of late but, just one year after Ara Darzi’s NHS Next Stage Review suggested every PCT should have at least one primary care healthcentre, the ball is well and truly rolling. Just last month, new pharmacy minister Mike O’Brien opened the 50th healthcentre in England – if only pharmacy services could be rolled out so quickly.


Pharmacy’s reaction to the proposed polyclinics has been cautious, but there have been few overtly positive endorsements of the plans. Some representatives have stuck their heads above the parapet to denounce them, warning that putting pharmacies into the healthcentres could have a detrimental impact on existing pharmacy networks. Others have tentatively said that polyclinics could be good for the profession, if the plans are carefully thought out in consultation with local contractors. image_gallery (4)


Locally, it hardly seems surprising if contractors’ views are more akin to the former. It isn’t exactly good news if your nearest GP surgery ups sticks and moves into a healthcentre on the other side of town, and another company gets the contract for the in-house pharmacy. But one primary care centre developer believes it has found a kind of happy halfway house. At Lytham Primary Care Centre, which opened six weeks ago in Lancashire, the pharmacy is a joint venture between local contractor Paul Minton and MedicX Pharmacy, a new company dedicated to developing pharmacies in polyclinics.


The Lytham pharmacy is MedicX’s first in a healthcentre, with one opening next week in Rotherham and another in September in Ossett, Wakefield; the company aims to cover all areas of England and Wales within the next four years, growing by four units a year. And MedicX Pharmacy director Steve Jeffers believes the joint venture model could be the way to help them achieve this. image_gallery (3)


Pharmacy also benefits, Mr Jeffers adds, from the local knowledge and custom that the independent partner brings with them to the healthcentre pharmacy.


Of course, there are other contractors in the town who were also part of the failed consortium, but Mr Jeffers says MedicX Pharmacy’s relationship with them is “not bad”. Mr Minton adds: “We have tried not to upset anyone and hope to work alongside local pharmacies as best we can.”


Besides, Mr Jeffers, who is a former independent contractor, believes that pharmacy has to move with the times, with healthcentres providing the modern premises ideal for showcasing pharmacists’ expanding clinical role. “If pharmacy wants to really embrace the fact that it’s a healthcare profession – which I strongly believe it is – then it has to have the right environment to promote that.”


The contractors’ view


Would you give up your cosy, familiar high street premises to go to work in a polyclinic? Paul Minton has, leaving behind the pharmacy he’d run as an independent contractor for over 20 years to enter a joint venture with MedicX Pharmacy in Lytham Primary Care Centre, Lancashire. Why? Well, no-one would believe that simple economics didn’t form at least part of the equation, with his local GP surgeries already earmarked to move further from his pharmacy into the centre.


But it was, or at least has become, about more than that, Mr Minton says – a chance for him to modernise his practice that he doesn’t feel he would have had otherwise. “It’s an opportunity for someone like myself, who’s been an independent for such a long time, to have an input into what we’re doing today as opposed to yesterday.” image_gallery (2)


Pharmacy is changing, Mr Minton believes, and he’s grateful to have been given the opportunity to move along with that. For example, he enjoys the additional support he now has to develop ideas for new services. He does miss the ‘community spirit’ of being on the high street – but says part of the reason the joint venture has worked so well for himself, MedicX Pharmacy and their patients is that he brought “a lot of local goodwill” from his old pharmacy into the new healthcentre. Mr Minton has retained most of his regular patients, from whom the reaction to his relocation has been, he adds, “very favourable”.


Mr Minton had always had good relationships with the two local GP practices that now reside with him in the healthcentre. But co-location has escalated interprofessional working to another level, he says – including with practice and district nurses. “We seem to be approached by more health professionals for advice now – it works very well,” Mr Minton says.


“We have drifted away from the commercial side of pharmacy to be more healthcare orientated – which is obviously what these healthcentres are about.”


The polyclinic experience


Imagine being given free reign to design a new pharmacy. Completely free: no nooks and crannies to take into account, and space, if not no object, then certainly pretty unrestricted. Where would you start? For MedicX Pharmacy it’s with the dispensary, which at Lytham Primary Care Centre is certainly large by most standards. Everything else is designed around that. This approach, says MedicX Pharmacy director Steve Jeffers, means the dispensary’s layout supports smooth workflows. For example, there are two computer systems, one for acute dispensing and one for repeats; laptops link the three consultation rooms to the networks.


For patients, the pharmacy is based on a hotel rather than a shop, Mr Jeffers says.‘Sign-in’ stations positioned by the wide entrance offer pens for patients to fill in prescription forms, after which patients are greeted by a large clear counter “more akin to a reception desk”, according to Mr Jeffers, who’s sure it is “one of the poshest reception desks you’ll ever see in a pharmacy”. image_gallery (1)


Throughout the pharmacy there are clean lines and modern finishes in dark wood, brushed steel, dark red and grey paintwork, and stone-effect flooring. All aspects of the pharmacy are boldly signposted: pharmacy, pick-up, seating.


The waiting area is designed for health promotion, with a bespoke leaflet display system, an electronic health point with printer and a large flatscreen television displaying health programme The Life Channel. The positioning of the TV serves to drown out conversation at the semi-private prescription collection point behind. In an example of attention to detail and a determination to cater for local needs, the waiting area features fewer chairs than might be expected for the space – because, as a retirement town, Lytham has a high proportion of wheelchair users.


The retail space is deliberately small, almost non-existent. “We’re not a retailer; we’re a service provider,” says Mr Jeffers.


image_galleryMedicX Pharmacy is determined to maintain this community relationship, recently using a charity midnight walk in Lytham as an opportunity to connect with potential customers by distributing information about services in goody bags of blister plasters. And it seems to have worked so far, with the pharmacy seeing over 1,500 patients in its first full week. “We have got a lot of positive feedback from the patients,” Mr Jeffers reports.


 “This is a model that we think has a lot of attraction both for PCTs – because it’s good PR – but also for independents, where they feel threatened by a big primary care centre opening,” he says. (A local consortium of contractors, including Mr Minton, previously failed to secure a contract for the centre.) And MedicX 

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Extended hours: best thing for general practice?

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: , |

Healthcare Republic | By Neil Durham | Editors’ Blog | 29 July 2009

I had a GP appointment at 7.25am yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve used extended hours and what an interesting experience it was.

I arrived at 7.15am half expecting to be kicking my heels in the car park but was buzzed through a locked door via a receptionist at the end of an intercom. Mr 7.35am arrived five minutes later. 

At 7.25am sharp the consultation began. Whilst having my BP taken, there was a chance to talk extended hours and my GP loves them: ‘I drive into work at 7.10am and I see all the commuters on the roads or going to the station, so I know people work hard.’ He thought the practice should extend them further but his partners, who have young families, were less keen.

The downside is that his PCT isn’t keen to lose any appointments during the day, so there are workload issues. (Trust me, I’ve done weird shifts and know they mess with your mind. I once went to bed with a mobile in caseShakespeare In Love director John Madden called in the early hours for a post-Oscar victory chat. Clue: he did.)

For me as a patient, extended hours are fantastically convenient. But I guess working them is another matter. Before their introduction I visited the walk-in centre near work because my practice wasn’t open before I left for work or when I got home. And though the concept of immediate walk-in access appeals, the reality of waiting indefinitely to see a random nurse who knows nothing about you is less enticing.

Of course the way extended hours were introduced by the government was too bullying. But there’s so much to commend my practice this is easy to forget: I get on with my GP, he knows my history and I like to think we’ve established a rapport.

My grandparents are still alive and it seems to me that the more we age the more vital continuity of care becomes.

The key to this – and, probably, the future of general practice – must be protecting the registered list. Surely no government would dare threaten this as popular practices become even more accessible to their patients?

Are extended hours an urban solution to an urban problem? I live in south-east London, a 60-minute commute from where I work in south-west London. I’m sure there are less urban locations where there’s just no demand for extended hours. I can’t think of anything more annoying than kicking my heels at work with nothing to do early in the morning or late in the day because the PMinsists needlessly I do so.

We’re keen to know what you think and today launch an extended hours survey about your experience and views.

Are extended hours really the best thing that’s happened to general practice? Or am I, and my GP, alone on that one?

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Union to spend £1m campaigning against NHS privatisation

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Healthcare Republic | 29 July 2009

Unison has launched a £1m campaign to promote public services. C5C4FA94-D6BD-7BEA-D1989AEE2795D1A6

The union, the largest in the public sector, says the ‘million voices’ campaign will be its biggest in 10 years, and will call on the government to put ‘people before profit’.

It will include a film, an advertising campaign and a range of regional initiatives.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said that the union had chosen now to launch the campaign ‘because of the recession and the threat it poses to public services.

‘If any part of the economy will get us through these tough times,’ he added, ‘it is public services and public service workers.’

Unison’s campaign comes at the same time as the BMA is pursuing itsLook after our NHS campaign against commercialisation in the health service.


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PCT appoints GP as chairman

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Healthcare Republic | 29 July 2009

NHS Tameside and Glossop has appointed GP Dr Kailash Chand as the chairman of its board. By Joanne Ellul. Dr Kailash Chand

Dr Chand will replace Ian McCrae who retired in July.

John Hallsworth, vice-chairman is interim chairman until Dr Chand takes up his appointment. Before he assumes his position, Dr Chand will be retiring from his position as a GP.

Dr Kailash Chand has been a GP for over 25 years and is currently a member of the professional executive committee for NHS Tameside and Glossop.

Dr Tim Riley, chief executive of NHS Tameside and Glossop, said: ‘Kailash has shown dedication to the NHS and local community for many years and will bring a wealth of experience to our board.’

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CARE UK Chooses Adastra for NHS Rotherham’s Brand New Equitable Access Centre

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases | Tags: |

Adastra | Press Releases | 29 July 2009

Leading IT supplier of unplanned and urgent care solutions, Adastra Software Ltd, strengthens its market position in Equitable Access Centres as it announces a new Care UK site in Rotherham.

Care UK, a leading independent provider of health and social care services that works closely with PCTs and local authorities providing NHS Walk-in Centres, GP surgeries and treatment centres won the contract recently to run the NHS Rotherham Community Health Centre. This brand new, 8am-9pm, Equitable Access Centre opened to the residents of Rotherham and Barnsley in June 2009 providing a Walk-in Centre, Out of Hours Services and GP Surgery Services to all people living, working and visiting the region. Rodney Paul, Head of Business Systems, Primary Care for Care UK said, “Having already chosen Adastra for our Walk-in Centres and Out of Hours Services in Newcastle, Brighton, Victoria, Portsmouth and Wandsworth – we knew firsthand the benefits the system would bring to Rotherham.”

The Equitable Access to Primary Medical Care programme was set up to play a significant role in achieving more personalised care for patients as set out by Lord Darzi. This forms part of the pledge made by the Government to provide new investment to support 100 new general practices in PCTs with the poorest provision including one new, easily accessible, GP-led health centre in each PCT. The programme is fast becoming a reality and new health centres like the one in Rotherham are evidence of this.

The new Adastra installation at Rotherham, hosted at a Care UK Data Centre, is set up for traditional Out of Hours Services with mobile technology for GPs using Adastra’s Aremote solution. It also makes use of the functionality for the Walk-in Centre service for unregistered patients, running alongside GP system TPP which is needed for registered patients using the GP surgery services at the Health Centre.

Patients presenting at the Out of Hours service and the Walk-in Centre are all dealt with on the same shared Adastra database so clinicians can not only ensure continuity of care but also benefit from improved clinical safety.

The implementation went through in just four weeks from start to finish, Care UK’s Rodney Paul added, “The Adastra implementation went incredibly smoothly and the go-live support from the Adastra team was first class. The Out of Hours staff moving to the centre from the previous site were already Adastra users, so this meant the swap over was painless. Patient registrations are being handled very efficiently through Adastra as we quickly build our patient list from zero to our target which is set at 5,000. A key feature that we have in Adastra is it allows us to identify which patients are seen by which service, this is very important to us for our charging mechanisms.”

Jim Chase, Managing Director, Adastra told us, “Because of its robust and proven functionality for handling unregistered patients and unscheduled healthcare episodes plus its powerful reporting, Adastra is fast becoming a favourite with the new Darzi-style health centres. With this new way of working, healthcare providers are set to see far higher levels of unregistered patients wanting unscheduled care whenever and wherever they need it. Adastra is ideally positioned to deliver the technology to deal with this demand and with our overriding commitment to collaborate with all healthcare IT and content providers – Adastra is an obvious choice for many!”

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New Coatbridge health centre takes shape

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser | BJudith Tonner | 29 July 2009 

COATBRIDGE’S new multi-million-pound health and community centre is taking shape ahead of its planned opening next spring.

Workers from contractors Dawn Construction are currently preparing to remove the tower crane which has been a feature of the town centre skyline during the building of the new facility.

The £17 million centre will house Lanarkshire’s largest dental surgery, two GP practices, a community health department and council services such as a “one-stop shop”, registrar and even a library.

It has seen the town’s former swimming baths on Main Street transformed into the 8000 square-metre community hub, which is a joint venture between NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council.

Ian Ross, the health board’s director of strategic implementation, performance and planning, said: “This centre will be a tremendous addition to the town centre.

“Access to services is very important as more than 90 per cent of the contact which people have with the NHS is in primary care settings.

“The facilities of this centre will enable us to provide services in the best possible environment and allow people to access a wide range of health and council services in one convenient location.”

Coatbridge North and Glenboig councillor Tony Clarke, the council’s convener of property services, said: “We are delighted that the construction of this major project has reached this significant milestone.

“I would like to congratulate all involved and I am looking forward to its completion next year when the building will be an attractive addition to the landscape of North Lanarkshire, at the heart of Coatbridge town centre.”

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