Over 40 GPs and Health Care professionals gathered at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park on 23 March 2016 for the first in a planned series of regular Members Meetings of the Wolverhampton Health Federation.
Welcoming participants to the meeting, the Chair of Wolverhampton Health Federation, Dr Ravindran Sabaratnam, commented:
"We have created the Wolverhampton Health Federation as a not for profit organisation with a clear focus on helping tackle the challenges that face all of us in Primary Care as we strive to manage the significant additional demand on our services, be more effective and efficient in all we do, and make the best use of the resources available to us.
Key to this is collaborative working across our city, not only among other local GP practices but also with colleagues in, for example, the Wolverhampton CCG, and the Public Health Department of Wolverhampton City Council – and I welcome senior representatives from those organisations here tonight."
Members heard a Presentation from Dr James Kingsland, President of the National Association of Primary Care, who complimented the Federation on the progress it is making with its Primary Care Home Model Rapid Test Site initiative in the City.
The Chair for this initiative, Dr Gillian Pickavance, provided a further update on what had already been achieved, and how patients covered by the initiative – which is made up of 8 Wolverhampton GP practices covering a total health population of 47,000 – will benefit from being treated by a single, integrated, and multidisciplinary team providing comprehensive and personalised care.
Dr Pickavance also commented on innovative potential collaborations that are being developed with, for example, the West Midlands Fire Service for the benefit of more vulnerable, elderly people in the City – focussed on safety issues around preventing falls, and encouraging fire safety actions.
Wolverhampton Health Federation is very willing to share its experience of successfully bidding to become a Primary Care Home Rapid Test Site with any GPs interested in the possibility of bidding in the second round which is soon to be announced.
Dr Helen Hibbs, Chief Accountable Officer, Wolverhampton CCG, stressed the importance for all of those working in the Health Sector in the City to focus on the same, or complementary, key health objectives for the benefit of all the population – but particularly those in high risk categories.
This was echoed by Ros Jervis, Director for Public Health, Wolverhampton City Council who provided a range of detailed information on key health issues such as obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise, which very clearly demonstrated that much work was still needed in the City to improve the overall health of its population.
The evenings Presentations were completed by Simon Gould, Development Manager for Assura – a Company which is a long term investor and developer of Primary Care properties. Mr Gould emphasised the changing nature of the kind of properties that are most effective in helping with the delivery of Primary Care services – what they look like now and what might be needed by patients, GPs and health professionals in the future – and how these properties might be funded.
Those attending the meeting who were not already Members were encouraged to consider Membership and Dr Raj Mohindroo, a Member of the Federation, outlined a number of new initiatives that the Wolverhampton Health Federation is working on. These included establishing a GP Locum Chamber, creating a Purchasing Discount and Buying Club, and the provision of Staff Training, and HR and Recruitment support.
Any GP interested in learning more about the Wolverhampton Health Federation, or wishing to sign up as a Member, can request an application form by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.hsl.org.uk/whf.
Dr Ravindran, Chair of Wolverhampton Health Federation