A hospital consultant and health boss have become formal partners in a GP practice as part of a pioneering scheme never before seen in England.
The ground-breaking move will involve representatives from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) – both partners of Choose Cumbria – taking over the running of Waterloo House GP Practice in Millom.
It is hoped the link-up will allow doctors to spend more time with patients and reduce the number of people who need to be admitted to hospital.
Millom's Dr Richard Walker, a GP at Waterloo House surgery, explained there would be a raft of benefits for the town, including having the expertise of leaders from different organisations at their disposal.
He said: "The new partnership means that GPs and primary care staff, including new clinical staff roles, can spend more time where it matters – with the patients - than having to manage the business side of the surgery."
The new partners include Dr Paul Grout, Furness General Hospital's accident and emergency consultant and trust deputy medical director, and Kate Maynard, deputy chief operating officer at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr John Howarth, deputy chief executive of the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and CPFT colleague Dee Houghton, associate director of operations for South Cumbria Community Services, have also become partners.
Dr Geoff Jolliffe, GP lead for Furness, said: "The work that has been happening in Millom has the support of the community and is being held up as a national exemplar for the new ways of working nationally.
“This is really ground breaking and the first example of its kind in England with huge potential to be rolled out across the Bay healthcare system and further afield.”
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