The majority of practices have joined together to form Primary Care Networks, with the objective of working together to share best practice and enable patients to access locally appropriate services closer to home.
Our practice is one of five practices in Northamptonshire Rural Primary Care Network.
Working together we have employed a Clinical Pharmacist (Ridwan Patel), who currently works across our five practices.
“Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to improve value and outcomes from medicines and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medicines and better access to health checks. The role is pivotal to improving the quality of care and ensuring patient safety.
Having clinical pharmacists in GP practices means that GPs can focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with more complex conditions. This helps GPs to manage the demands on their time.”
We also employ a social prescribing link worker, Helen Blackburn.
“Social prescribing link workers help to reduce health inequalities by supporting people to unpick complex issues affecting their wellbeing. They enable people to have more control over their lives, develop skills and give their time to others, through involvement in community groups. Link workers visit people in their homes, where needed.
On average, link workers have between 6-12 contacts with a person, depending on their needs, over a three-month period. They connect people to community groups and help the person to develop skills, friendships and resilience. The term ‘social prescribing link worker’ is used generically. However, locally there are many different names used to describe the link worker role. These include community connector, wellbeing advisor, community navigator, health advisor, depending on local preference. Different terms have emerged as local areas have developed their own local schemes.”
Between April 2020 and March 2024, further funding has been made available to primary care networks, to recruit additional roles to expand the range of clinical and non clinical staff who provide care and support for patients in general practice.
We are really excited about the potential the network has to bring more resources into general practice for our patients.
You can read more about primary care networks in Northamptonshire here.