●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton, and executive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) A GOOD friend of mine is a GP in Macclesfield and recently told me how amazed a newly registered patient from London was with the level of service he received here in Eastern Cheshire.
Not only was he impressed with the waiting time for an ‘emergency appointment’ – less than 24 hours – but also the fact that his blood test and heart tracing (ECG) could be carried out in the surgery and that medications can be ordered online.
He was astounded that the GP knew the local consultant and they had discussed his case after his appointment.
For many local patients, and doctors, this is something we have grown accustomed to, but we must not assume this level of access and quality of local primary care is universally available.
Most local practices have diabetes, asthma and other long term condition clinics, which can carry out all manner of procedures on site, and offer a level of access to service other parts of the UK aspire to. This is backed up by local Ipsos MORI survey results.
The extra mile Eastern Cheshire GPs go to has for long gone unrecognised, and unrewarded.
Now, the CCG is to invest £2 million in primary care to ensure equity of access to services across Eastern Cheshire and enable the area’s 23 GP practices to provide a wider range of services to help people stay well and to reduce hospital admissions.
Examples of services that might be provided include clinics to tackle obesity and stop people developing diabetes.
In addition, NHS England, which pays for GPs to deliver core health care services in Eastern Cheshire, has conducted a national review of general
●● Dr Paul Bowen