It was great to host Wigan Borough CCG MD Prof Craig Harris at our regular SSP Health meeting with Practice Managers and GPs.
There was lots of discussion about how we can all further improve healthcare in the primary sector across our practices in Wigan and Leigh and throughout the wider borough. All 14 of our practices across the borough were represented at the meeting.
After a welcome and overview of SSP Health by our Director, GP Dr Shikha Pitalia, Craig gave the team a run through of the new Wigan Borough Locality Plan Refresh and how GP practices are integral to it.
Later there were discussions about improving mental health services for all patients; how GP practices can help share best practice across the area’s care homes; how SSP Health is encouraging suicide awareness training; what plans there were for new technology to join up various sectors across healthcare; how the newly-formed Primary Care Networks are developing across the borough; the problem of Do Not Attends; the role of social prescribing going forward in practices and the importance of population health in helping to create a more healthy, resilient population in every part of Wigan and Leigh.
All in one hour – phew!
Craig expressed a wish to visit a number of SSP Health practices across the borough in the future and said he was keen to explore more partnership opportunities between SSP Health and the CCG and Healthier Wigan Partnership.
Dr Pitalia said: “It was lovely to meet Craig and give our Practice Managers, GPs and other staff the chance to get to know him and hear about his many plans for the borough.
“I hope we impressed on him that SSP Health is keen to be at the forefront of new initiatives that can help to make healthcare in Wigan and Leigh even better.
“We know many organisations across the borough are leaders in their particular field of health – including SSP Health – and we were heartened to hear that Craig put so much emphasis on partnership working which can ensure we are all on the same direction of travel in improving the health of the population here.”
Craig, left, is pictured with Dr Pitalia and the team at the meeting at SSP Health's head office in Ashton-in-Makerfield.