Mike Neville, Managing Partner at The Neville Family Practice, writes about how the role of GPs has changed and gives practical information on accessing the Primary Care Network in Cheetham and Crumpsall.
General Practice is very different to how it was in 1932 when my grandfather, Dr Thomas Neville, first took over the family practice in Blackley Village.
General Practice, as well as all of medicine, is a lot more complex than it was back then. The NHS didn’t even exist until 1948! However, the main difference in General Practice is that GPs now have a fantastic support framework around them in the wider practice team to help them make decisions about your health. This includes clinicians such as nurses, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists, pharmacists; as well as community services like the district nurses, case managers, midwifes and health visitors.
GPs are all supported by administrative support staff who are the first point of contact when you contact your GP surgery. They do not make decisions on your health. They have been given specific guidelines to follow by the GPs, and the information they give to you is based on what the GPs want them to tell you.
Practices are no longer working on their own in isolation as a single organisation. 2019 saw the formation of Primary Care Networks (PCNs). These are groups of practices working together to focus local patient care. In this local area, the following practices are in the Cheetham & Crumpsall PCN:
- Cheetham Hill Medical Centre
- Jolly Medical Centre
- New Collegiate Medical Centre
- Park View Medical Centre
- Queens Medical Centre
- The Neville Family Medical Centre
- Wellfield Medical Centre
Your PCN practices work together to be able to provide a wider range of services for you as a registered patient.
The question should no longer be ‘how can I see my GP?’, but instead ‘how can I stay healthy?’, or if you are unwell, ‘who can I speak with to get better?’. It could be that the nurse or healthcare assistant may be more appropriate, or one of the wider team. These decisions are ultimately made by the GP with regards to who you see and for what reason (not the support team).
The important thing is that your general practice team is here for you.
The pandemic has certainly thrown some interesting obstacles in our path, but we are more than equal to them all. We have been seeing patients, where clinically appropriate, throughout the pandemic. However, in order to practice safely, we have followed all guidelines to protect you as well as the staff, which is why you will receive a phone call first.
If you need help from your practice, just call your between 8am and 6.30pm, and someone from the team will be able to help – that may be the GP, or one of the wider clinical team.
Visit The Neville Family Medical Centre website here: www.nevillefmc.com