This is how Gosport GPs are working to improve their service after facing criticism

GPs in Gosport have held their hands up to issues they have had with their services but say they are determined to keep improving.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 3:31 pm
From left, operations manager Emma O'Brien, Dr Robin Harlow, chairman of the patient group Georgette Houlbrook and general manager Sarah McLaughlin Picture: Sarah Standing (160419-6019)

Access to appointments and phone issues have plagued The Willow Group since it was formed in 2017 with Brune Medical Centre, Forton Medical Centre, Waterside Medical Centre and Stoke Road Medical Centre.

The surgeries came together to pool resources in order to prevent them from closing following declining numbers of GPs in the last few years and the team are working hard to resolve issues, keep in contact with patients and have developed new models of care to deliver services including the Same Day Access Service, Long-term Conditions Hub, Home Visiting Service and pilots such as the Complex Care Team, which was able to show a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions through a more holistic community based package of care.

General manager Sarah McLaughlin said: ‘We are adapting and trying to use our resources as best we can given the problems facing the NHS across the country. All the staff want to do their best for patients and we are not trying to gloss over the problems we have had. 

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The News, Portsmouth talks to The Willow Group based in Gosport, after their recent Good rating in their latest CQC report. Pictured is: David Chilvers, GP. Picture: Sarah Standing (160419-6050)

‘We hold our hands up to that but we are putting things in place to make our services better and keeping in contact with patients to get feedback. We have a Facebook where people can message us and we still have our phone lines for people who want to keep to that method.’

A recent inspection by the UK’s national health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated The Willow Group in Gosport as ‘good’.

The inspection found that the service ‘had a culture which drove high quality sustainable care’ and praised The Willow Group's approach to seeking out and embedding new and more sustainable models of care in the area.

Dr Robin Harlow, who is a Clinical Director and lead GP for the Willow Group, said: ‘Getting a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC is really important to us as it reflects the commitment and hard work of all of our team to deliver high quality patient care.

‘Listening to our patients, using their feedback, and working with them to improve our services is vital for us. We are committed to being the best we can be and get just as frustrated as our patients when things aren’t working or take longer to fix than we anticipate.’

Chair of the patient group Georgette Houlbrook added: ‘There has been improvements and everyone is listening to each other more in order to figure out the problems and find solutions.’