The South Coast Medical Group, which is made up of six general practices in the Christchurch and Bournemouth East areas, has won an award for integration and innovation, and become the first primary care home in Dorset.
Primary Care Home is a national scheme that helps general practices work together so that they can offer extended services to a patient population of 30-50,000 people. You can find out more on the National Association of Primary Care website.
The Integration Innovation of the Year award recognises how the South Coast Medical Group has helped to strengthen and unite the practices. Some of them had been struggling to recruit and retain staff. Having a network of practices overcomes some of the difficulties currently being faced by family doctor services in Dorset and elsewhere in the country. The venture is a move away from the traditional model of general practice where, typically, two to three doctors have invested as partners in the premises and infrastructure needed to deliver primary care services to a population of around 6-7,500 registered patients.
Dr Mufeed Ni’man is the driving force behind creating a network of practices – all but one within a mile of each other – that serves a total population of around 30,000 and employs 150 staff. But the Providence Surgery began as one building in 2002, with two GPs and a patient list of 3,200.