RCGP Chair, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard visits Symphony Programme

Royal College of General Practitioners, Chair gives stamp of approval to Symphony Programme…

Last week, teams from across the Symphony Programme welcomed Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Director of NHS England’s New Care Models, Samantha Jones to a visit to the south Somerset PACS Vanguard.

A 'Huddle' with Dr Steve Edgar and the Millbrook Surgery team

The visit started at a rural GP practice; Millbrook Surgery in Castle Cary to show how new approaches to delivering healthcare services are having a positive impact on patients and staff at the practice. Teams were on hand to explain how the enhanced primary care model was being successfully used; taking a proactive approach in supporting patients with the most complex health conditions, as well as focussing on raising health awareness and prevention.

Guests were able to see ‘a huddle’, taking place, where a whole practice approach is taken to discussing the current patients who need additional care, support and treatment. By joining together healthcare practitioners, patients can receive a more seamless and proactive care service which helps to reduce duplication, appointments and unnecessary admission to hospital.

Dr Steve Edgar, GP Partner at Millbrook Surgery and Symphony Programme Board Chair said “This has been a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how our new models of care and the new Health Coach roles we have introduced are actually working on a day-to-day basis, building relationships across organisations to support both GPs and patients. We truly believe that this new approach is enabling us to provide a much improved and joined up healthcare service for our patients and their families, as well as supporting our GP colleagues and teams.”

The second part of the visit took place at Yeovil Hospital, where Helen Stokes-Lampard and Samantha Jones were able to meet some of the GPs from the 16 GP Practices in south Somerset who have also introduced the model. GPs and healthcare colleagues shared the benefits of a regular ‘Huddle’ and the support that the new Health Coach role has brought to both GPs and patients.

Dr Jo Cummings, a GP Extensivist from the complex care team described how the service is working across south Somerset to care for the top four percent of patients with the most complex healthcare needs. The team work closely with primary care GPs as well as within the hospital setting, helping to provide a supportive and integrated care service.

Samantha Jones, Director of the New Care Models Programme said: “Somerset’s Symphony Programme is showing how the partnership between acute, primary, community care and voluntary services can make a real difference to the care patients receive. It was great to see their multi-organisation, multi-disciplinary team approach in action and to hear how it has been having a positive impact on both staff and patients.”

Jeremy Martin, group shot cropped in boardroomAn update on the supporting role of operating company; Symphony Healthcare Services (SHS) in primary care was also given by SHS Medical Director, Dr Berge Balian.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “With increasing demand for GP services right across the UK, and more patients presenting with multiple, complex conditions, it is important we tailor primary care services to meet the needs of the local population – and I’m pleased that the Symphony Programme is proving so successful.“It is encouraging to see the collaborative working between primary and secondary care colleagues and how, by pulling together, they have found innovative solutions to delivering quality care to patients in Somerset.”