RWT and GP's working together on pioneering healthcare pilot project

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The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) is working with three Wolverhampton GP practices on a pioneering pilot project which will see the practices joining the trust in a new way of working designed to cut red tape, increase care-coordination leading to better care.

The model is called Vertical Integration (VI) which is a care model used in North America, Spain and other parts of the world where primary care physicians and their teams work in an integrated fashion with providers of secondary and community care and are part of one single organisation.

Almost 23,000 patients will be involved in the project and the practices involved in the pilot are:

•       Alfred Squire Road Health Centre

•       Lea Road Medical Practice

•       MGS Medical Practice (Bradley Health Centre, Low Hill Health Centre, Ruskin Road Surgery)

There are still some formal stages to be completed before this pilot can move forward but it is anticipated these will be completed by the end of March with the practices becoming part of the Trust from 1 April.

David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of RWT, said: "The GP practices and RWT recognise that as two separate organisations there can be delays caused by the processes that need to be in place for patient care to be organised.

"Through the practices becoming a part of RWT we can look more effectively at how we remove some of those processes to make the system work more efficiently and help to generally improve services. There is also a lot of knowledge and skills that can be shared on both sides and we can provide greater training and support opportunities for staff at the practices. We will look to share our learning across the NHS locally and nationally".

"This pilot is being driven by the GPs and senior clinicians at RWT who are working in the best interest of their patients and provide value for money for the tax payer. For many years we have known that care co-ordination between different parts of the health system is not as good as should be. By working hand in glove with local respected GPs, we think we can deliver a much better patient experience and increase value for the tax payer.

"We know that any change can be unsettling for our patients and staff but we are working with our GP partners and with patient groups, staff and the general public to make sure we keep everyone informed. The surgeries will be writing to all patients before the pilot begins and we will keep people updated throughout."

Patients and staff are being fully informed about the proposals and further information can be found by going to http://www.royalwolverhampton.nhs.uk/primarycare/

If anyone has any questions they can get in touch by emailing RWTPrimaryCare@nhs.net