A business partnership launched by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with GPs, including a group in Ponteland, is going from strength to strength.
Set up in April 2015, Northumbria Primary Care Ltd (NPC) now manages five practices, with around 36,000 registered patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside.
It provides every-day support to deliver corporate functions, enabling family doctors to focus on providing care.
NPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northumbria Healthcare, currently employs about 150 staff and during the past year key new roles have been introduced into the clinical teams – including nurse practitioners and clinical pharmacists.
Similar services from other providers in the private sector already exist in the market, but this is the first time such a venture has been launched by an NHS Foundation Trust.
The practices it manages are Ponteland Medical Group, Collingwood Medical Group in Blyth, Cramlington Medical Group, Spring Terrace Health Centre in North Shields and 49 Marine Avenue Surgery in Whitley Bay.
Dr Nigel Twelves, GP for Ponteland Medical Group and clinical director of NPC, said: “I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made inside our first year-and-a-half and that we’re now managing five GP practices – leaving family doctors to concentrate on delivering care to patients.
“Already patients are experiencing benefits, with earlier routine and same-day appointments, and more improvements are in the pipeline from the central appointment line that is due to go live soon.
“We look forward to working with more practices in the future and sharing our expertise with them.”