A 'vanguard' partnership between local Clinical Commissioning Groups, GPs and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust is set to transform how care is delivered in Hampshire - to improve patients’ health, wellbeing and independence.
A bid by the partnership to set up the new model, called a Multi-Specialty Community Provider (MCP), is among around 30 projects nationally to have been approved by NHS England on Tuesday 10 March.
The MCP in Hampshire will be developed around GP practices and bring in nurses, hospital specialists, therapists and other community-based professionals to provide joined up care tailored to the needs of patients and their local communities.
The MCP partnership will be established in three localities across South Hampshire covering 27 GP practices, working alongside Southern Health, which provides community health and social care across the county. It draws on strong support from across Hampshire, however, and the ambition is that a number of ‘fast follower’ localities will double the coverage of the MCP within the coming weeks.
The partnerships will now work closely with local people and organisations to establish the new model of care.
The initial localities aiming to offer patients a greater range of out-of-hospital services are East Hampshire, Gosport, and South West New Forest.
The approaches taken will be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the local population in each area and firmly embedded in primary care, with clinical leadership from local GPs, community and social care teams.
Local people can expect to see better and more flexible access to a wider range of health services via their local GP practice when the MCP sites are up and running.
Better access to the most appropriate health professional will mean patients will see more problems addressed in a single visit. This could include extended opening hours, making it easier for patients to get an appointment at a time that suits them, and better support for long-term conditions including longer appointments with an appropriate professional.
Meanwhile GPs and other staff will work closely with partners in the acute sector to ensure patients are treated in hospital only when it is absolutely necessary.
The project is fully supported by local Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hampshire County Council, local community and voluntary groups.
Dr Barbara Rushton, chair of South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We have known for a long time that most people want to have healthcare on their doorstep, not always having to travel to hospital every time they need an appointment. We also know that, too often, people have to continually tell their story again and again each time they meet a new health professional, with a sense that nobody is seeing them as a person, but instead as a set of health conditions to be treated.
"This new approach means that we have a chance to tackle those problems – to break down the barriers between different services, and so improve the care we can give."
Dr David Chilvers, Chair of Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group - one of the other 'Vanguard' CCGs - said: "The NHS often talks about giving people ‘joined up’ care, and it is vital that we find new ways doing that. If you are someone with several health problems, you will already recognise the frustrations of being passed from one service to another, from one health professional to another, and all of the delays and difficulties that brings.
"We now have a superb opportunity to develop a new approach locally which can stop those frustrations – we can design services to fit in with the lives of our patients, not simply to fit in with the way the NHS has always worked."
Katrina Percy, Chief Executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, added: "We are delighted to be among the first partnerships selected to be awarded Multi-Speciality Community Provider status by NHS England.
"Recent pressures on acute hospitals across the country demonstrate that current models of care are just not fit for the changing needs of our population. Too many people are spending too long in hospitals when with the right support they could remain in their own homes. The MCP model is our best hope to transform the way we deliver healthcare in Hampshire so people get the right care, at the right place and time.
"Southern Health is a large NHS Foundation Trust and already works closely with GPs across Hampshire to provide out-of-hospital care and support, so the Trust is ideally placed to work in partnership to develop the MCP."