RDE rushes ahead with unaccountable “Accountable Care Organisation” plans

[By total coincidence, of course, Tiverton has the only local 24 bed PFI-funded community hospital which cannot therefore be closed].

Tuesday 5 December 2017

“Tiverton GP practice due to join hospital trust – pioneering the way for Devon’s first primary and secondary health care integration

On 2 January 2018, Tiverton’s Castle Place Practice and its 50 members of staff*, including GPs, plan to join the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E). This new venture will be the first of its kind in Devon and will provide locally-led seamless care for the Tiverton community
This move fits with the direction of the NHS Five Year Forward View and offers better integrated working by removing organisational barriers. Castle Place is already co-located with Tiverton Community Hospital and has an established close working relationship with the Trust’s community teams so it was a pragmatic option for the practice to approach the RD&E with the proposal to explore a fully integrated model. Whilst offering the opportunity to work differently for the benefit of all the local community, it will also help address some of the challenges faced by primary care, particularly the difficulty in recruiting new GP partners and balancing time for clinical care with the demands of running a business.

Dr James Squire, GP Partner at Castle Place, explains: “This is an exciting new venture for us and one in which our patients’ best interests are central to our rationale for pursuing this change. I’d like to reassure our patients that in the short-term there will be no changes to the services we offer and in the longer-term will only provide better care.

“The ever increasing challenges and pressures are resulting in necessary changes right across the healthcare system. Thankfully, due to our focus on person-centred, continuity of care we have managed to fare some of these challenges well but we know that to maintain this for our current patients and future generations we need to explore new ways of working. There are a number of different ways GPs could adapt but it was important for us that we secured a future which was true to our core values and principles. Joining the RD&E gives us an opportunity to concentrate our efforts on leading and providing excellent clinical care in a way that’s right for our community”.

“This is a bold step for us but the whole team here is motivated to test new ways of working, not only between the practice and the hospital but also with the community services for our population, and we are really keen to share our experiences and learning for the wider benefit.”

Suzanne Tracey, RD&E Chief Executive, said: “At the RD&E we are prioritising working more closely with local health and care partners to support a move towards ‘place-based care’. This is the future of healthcare and we want to help create the conditions which enable communities to take the lead. To achieve this, we envisage working with our partners in a number of exciting and different ways and this proposal initiated by the Castle Place Practice in Tiverton is a great opportunity to put this into practice.

“Whether in primary or secondary care, all of us want to do what’s right for the person and right for a community but sometimes competing demands, targets and finances can get in the way or slow the pace of change. The partnership with Castle Place Practice is a great opportunity for us to work together with GPs to develop more proactive care which keeps people well and independent in their own communities.”

Castle Place Practice’s 15,000 registered patients, which is around half of Tiverton’s population, will see no immediate changes. Staff will continue in their existing roles, patients’ named GP will not change and access to appointments and services will continue in exactly the same way. However, in the longer term it will enable and increase the opportunities for better management of long term conditions plus improve access to care at home and in the community.”

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