A group of NHS representatives standing outside Heathlands Village assisted living facility

NHS England Chief Executive Officer visits the future of Greater Manchester primary care

On Friday 19th January, NHS Greater Manchester (GM) welcomed NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, to the city-region, who was visiting multiple NHS and community sites across Greater Manchester.

The chief executive spent the day meeting with residents, volunteers, organisations, and healthcare professionals in Prestwich, Ancoats and New Islington to see for herself the great services Greater Manchester has to offer, as well as the initiatives that are taking place to improve health and care access for all.

In the morning, Amanda paid a visit to Healthlands Village care home, run by and part of the Federation of Jewish Services, to find out why it’s such an integral part of the community.

She was taken on a tour of the Synagogue and to meet residents at Heathlands Village care home, before meeting with the Bury NHS Integrated Neighbourhood Team and The Fed Community Services – the leading social care charity for the Greater Manchester Jewish community – who are all onsite. Finding out how they all work together to help Jewish and local people of all ages in the community to receive the help and care they need to live safe and happy lives.

Heathlands Village is an example of how different professionals based in the same location can take a joint approach to planning care for individuals. This includes residential and nursing care, supporting their religious needs, providing a safe place to play and learn for children with special needs, and social work.

On the afternoon, Amanda visited two of Greater Manchester’s medical practices who are leading examples of what can be done to ensure everyone gets the clinical help they need, such as those facing homelessness. Speaking with the healthcare professionals working there about some of their initiatives and services, and the unique challenges they face.

At Ancoats Urban Village Medical Practice, she met with Dr Jen Greenlaw, GP partner and GM women’s health clinical lead, Liz Thomas, practice nurse and lead nurse for homeless health service, Dr Shaun Jackson, GP partner and clinical lead for homeless health service, and Kay Keane, practice manager and director of the Institute of General Practice Management, to discuss their homeless health service and how it works alongside the main general practice.

 They highlighted in particular, the positive impact the clinical van has had for providing a range of services to those in the local community they might not be able to other wise, in particular homeless women. Thanks to the mobile clinic, it has meant they are able to bring sexual health and contraception services out into the wider community rather than making them come to the practice, and by doing so are able to identify people who need further clinical help.

At New Islington Medical Practice, she met with Dr Sarah Follon, GP and associate medical director, and Deepa Turner, practice business manager to find out how they have fully modernised the practice – combining phone, online and walk ins to make it easier for their patients access medical help. As well as discussing what is needed in the future to ensure they can keep up with the health needs of the growing population.

Finding out how their multi-disciplinary team; their same day appointments access; the policy that no person is turned away; their digital first offer; and their lack of long 8am phone queues – have all created a practice that makes it easier and quicker for patients to see the right health care professional when they need to.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to meet so many people who are making such a positive impact for the people of Greater Manchester. The services I’ve seen today are great examples of the NHS working hand in glove with local authorities as well as voluntary and community groups to design and deliver seamless services which genuinely meet the needs of the populations they serve, and help them to live healthier and more independent lives.”

Mark Fisher, chief executive, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care added: “It has been an honour to welcome Amanda to Greater Manchester today, and to have the opportunity to showcase just some of the incredible things people and organisations across the region are doing.

“At NHS Greater Manchester we don’t believe in standing still and are always looking for ways to improve the lives and experiences of the people in our communities.”

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