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£1.8m investment for Brighton and Hove GPs
Around £1.8 million will be invested in GP practices to improve care for patients - and help keep people out of under-pressure hospitals.
Brighton and Hove is one of 20 areas in the country to successfully bid for a share of the Prime Minister's £50 million Challenge Fund.
The fund invites teams to come up with ways to make it easier for people to use GP services and get the best support possible seven days a week.
The year-long pilot project for Brighton and Hove will include introducing specially trained care navigators to 18 GP practices in the city.
They will target patients, including the elderly and people living alone, who need health guidance rather than medical help.
They will work with Age UK and the city's Neighbourhood Care scheme to provide support for patients in community setting.
The practices will also be working with local pharmacists to create four new primary care centres.
The aim is to give patients a more responsive and flexible service, with same-day appointments, from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, at a GP practice, in a pharmacy or at home.
It is hoped that providing the extra services and support will cut down on the number of people having to be admitted to hospital for treatment and ease pressure on the already busy Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
The Brighton and Hove Integrated Care Service, which brings together GPs, clinicians and other health partners to improve services and patient care across the city, has been supporting the development of the project.
Clinical director Jonathan Serjeant, said: “We believe the project will improve access to care and support services, bring better experience and more choice for patients, and will put people in control of their own care and treatment.
“It will reconnect our GP surgeries with their neighbourhood community resources. By working more closely with local pharmacies, we will be able to make much better use of the skills, knowledge and experience of pharmacists.
“Our partnership with the voluntary sector is particularly important as it will allow us to reach out to our most needy patients and look at new ways of supporting people who may live alone or have complex conditions, to be as independent as they can be.”
NHS England deputy medical director, Mike Bewick, said: “This fund is about helping those people who struggle to find a GP appointment to fit in with family and work life and making the most of new technologies.
“We need to create an environment that enables GPs to play a much stronger role, as part of a more integrated system of out-of-hospital care.”
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