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Primary Care Partnerships


Doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health care practitioners in the Lisburn and Down areas are today launching new forums to help the future development of services. The forums – known as Primary Care Partnerships or PCPs – bring together a range of professional carers and other partner interests in this important task. They have been established by the South Eastern Local Commissioning Group (LCG) of the Health and Social Care Board, which is chaired by Lisburn GP Dr Nigel Campbell.

Four PCPs whose work will respectively cover the North Down, Ards, Lisburn and Down areas are getting their work officially up and running this week. They will enable local GPs, pharmacists, community-based nurses and social workers to operate as cohesive teams to identify health improvements and to put schemes in place that offer new and expanded services for local people. All of their work will relate to ‘Primary Care’ – the services that are provided to people living in the community outside of hospital. Among some early initiatives the PCPs have identified are:

bullet list A need to offer a wider range of clinics for people at places such as their local GPs surgery.
bullet list An ability to prescribe and dispense drugs more efficiently than at present and, through this process, to achieve important cost savings of benefit to the wider health service.
bullet list The development of arrangements that will provide for even greater clinical quality and effectiveness among all practitioners.

Dr Nigel Campbell, who has been at the forefront of PCP development, said they offer a great potential to identify a wide range of further improvements to primary care services for many patients.

“The purpose of the PCPs is to bring together all those practitioners who deliver care each day to countless numbers of people and who, by virtue of that, are well placed to enhance their care,” continued Dr Campbell.

“I am hoping that as the PCPs become established and consolidate their roles, they will deliver a wider range of care through GP surgeries, local pharmacies and other places,” he said.

“This is a challenging and exciting time for both patients and practitioners, and I think the PCPs have a potential to greatly change how care is planned and delivered in the community over future years,” added Dr Campbell.

The South Eastern LCG, which is overseeing the development of the four PCPs within its area, plans or ‘commissions’ health and social care services for people living in the Down, Ards, North Down, and Lisburn local government districts. In addition to Dr Campbell, its membership includes representatives from local voluntary and community based organisations, local councillors, local GPs, dentists and pharmacists, and staff representatives from the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency.

The LCG meets monthly in public at appropriate venues across its area, and further details on its role can be obtained from the website of the Health and Social Care Board on www.hscboard.hscni.net