GP practices are at the heart of our integrated care model. We have a strong network of GP practices across the borough delivering over 45,000 patient contacts each week. Our primary care services are amongst the best in Greater Manchester with 59 of our practices being rated good or outstanding in recent CQC visits and Wigan Practices get consistently high ratings from patients in the GP National Survey. We are working with our practices to ensure they are in the best position to continue to provide safe and high quality care to patients across the borough. A set of standards have recently been introduced to further improve services and ensure the best possible outcomes for local people. These standards touch on a range of themes including carers support, managing long term conditions, screening and immunisations, supporting those with mental health problems and early detection of cancers.
Practices are working together to improve the way that services are delivered for local people. People can now gain access to weekend and evening appointments through the extended access services delivered through Wigan GP Alliance. GP Clusters are made up of practices serving populations of 30-50,000 in defined geographical areas. The GP Clusters provide an opportunity for practices to work together to improve services for the benefit of their patients. Clusters have been looking at new ways of delivering support to Care Home residents, designing new approaches to improve access to appointments and working collaboratively to address workforce challenges. GP Clusters are also working closely with other services and organisations in neighbourhoods to deliver integrated support for local people.
We know that many people visiting their GP have underlying social problems that impact adversely on their health. These could be related to a range of issues including social isolation, low level anxiety or stress, money or housing issues. Community Link Workers, based in practices, help people to connect to the right support and services that can make a big difference to people’s lives. Our Community Link Workers know the local community they work in and operate as part of a neighbourhood team that brings together knowledge and skills from a range of voluntary and public sector services.
We are starting to wrap a range of services around practices to make sure that people get the right support, in the right place, at the right time. These include community nursing and therapy services, children & family services (Start Well), specialist mental health support and health improvement services. For more information about GP services in your community click here.