Ringmead Medical Practice going forward will have three sites from the 1st February. Dr Sachdev highlighted the services the current two sites offer, to explain what services Heath Hill patients will have access to. Regarding the future of the Heath Hill practice, Dr Sachdev sees all three sites working as one practice to continue all the good work that has been happening. Ringmead Medical Practice currently look after Wellington College so are familiar with the area.
Ringmead Medical Practice has 6 partners and over time has attracted the right staff; clinical and non-clinical to make it an excellent team. The practice is using innovative strategies to ensure that patients can be seen appropriately, without long waiting times. This is done by having a pharmacist working in the practice to organise medication, routine consultations for non-complicated blood pressures for example. There are also 2 paramedic practitioners, who are highly trained in the field of minor illnesses and so do same day appointments and home visits when required.
The current two sites are “dementia friendly” and we have a dementia advisor to help patients and their carers. They also offer psychological support for those with long term conditions; these are hour long appointments looking at the overall wellbeing of the patients. Ringmead Medical Practice are in discussions to support patients with orthopaedic needs, as so much can be done before surgery is even needed. These treatment plans could perhaps be put in place locally, at the GP surgery. These are the kind of skill sets that we can offer to new patients at the Heath Hill site.
The clinical team have great doctors and a fantastic nursing team, supporting all the practice team and have a great relationship with the practice, but no clinical team works without a strong administration team. Ringmead Medical Practice has a strong practice manager, with a medical background, who has been with the practice for 5 years, and is hugely involved with lots of the new innovative work that Ringmead Medical Practice does. There is also a “Patient Services Manager,” and specialised administrators. This strong management is the “power house” of the practice, ensuring the practice runs smoothly, and that everyone is doing the job they are supposed to, in the most effective manner. The reception staff and administrators are “Patient service advisors,” as that is their role – ensuring each patient is seen by the right person. Have a look at the Feeling Unwell leaflet at the end of this document, to see how staff help to signpost patients. Other areas want to adopt this approach as it has found to work well as it contributes towards making sure patients are not waiting.
The ethos at Ringmead Medical Practice is to learn and improve so they can be the best for patients, and offer the best possible service. Currently, there are 16,000 patients on the Ringmead Medical Practice list, and staff at the practice have a wealth of knowledge and experience, being local and national leads for various different clinical areas e.g. Cancer lead for Thames Valley. Ringmead Medical Practice train junior doctors, and have links with Frimley Park Hospital and other areas, and want to be a specialist training facility.
The NHS is changing and smaller practices can’t be effective. The national push is towards bigger practices who can deliver specialist services so patients don’t have to go far to get what they need. Ringmead Medical Practice, offer an extended hour service, so are open late in the evening and at weekends. Ringmead Medical Practice do specialist services eg cardiology 24 hour monitoring and have won the national Cardiovascular award and GP innovation award.
A reminder to Heath Hill patients: general practice services will continue as they are – in the same place. Change will come slowly, and in consultation with staff and the Patient Participation Group, it is hoped a joint vision will be developed and together implement the changes. Ringmead Medical Practice want to retain staff, as they hear from patients the excellent work they have done and we want to keep them.
The CQC are supportive of the process to date, but Ringmead Medical Practice will be accountable for patient safety and quality from the 1st February. In order to ensure these factors are looked out for, few immediate changes will be made to patient facing services – everything will remain as it currently is. Quality and safety of patients at the heart of all decisions.