SSP Health Director and GP Dr Shikha Pitalia wrote to newspapers in the region to express her optimism in primary care after new research by the NHS showed that more than nine in 10 patients have confidence in their family doctor.
The findings come shortly after the creation of Primary Care Networks, bringing in ideas of efficiencies of scale and collaboration between practices which were pioneered almost 20 years ago by SSP Health.
Read the letter - which was printed in the Manchester Evening News - below...
It is great news that almost all people have confidence in their family doctor.
An NHS survey of more than 750,000 people published on Thursday found that 96% of UK patients have trust in their doctor and the other staff who work so hard to treat them at their local GP practice.
Coming at a time of huge pressures on the NHS, with financial constraints, more complex needs of patients, and high expectations, these findings show that community GPs are doing a wonderful job in caring for the public.
But it is not just doctors we need to thank. Increasingly, a whole host of different clinical staff other than GPs are giving patients an excellent service at their local practice.
New ways of NHS working which came in this month, creating Primary Care Networks (PCNs), will increasingly mean neighbouring practices working together and patients being successfully treated more and more by health staff other than doctors, including social prescribers, pharmacists and nurses.
We were incredibly proud that Salford Practice Nurse Janine Hussey, who works in our SSP Health The Height General Practice, at Irlams o’ th’ Height, has been named as People’s Champion in the Greater Manchester Health and Care Champion Awards recently.
The awards celebrate excellence in healthcare across the city region and Janine was honoured for going the extra mile with her patients – sometimes shopping and cooking for them – helping to improve equality of care with LGBT patients and taking part in numerous charity events.
Janine was nominated by many of her patients, but there are examples of similar dedication right across primary care in our precious NHS.
Over many years at SSP Health, we have brought in new innovations designed to take the burden of administration off our GPs so that they can concentrate on what they really want to do – give excellent treatment to our patients. This style of working – which we pioneered almost 20 years ago – has been used effectively to support practices of all sizes to provide the best possible care.
With the birth of PCNs, similar measures are now being taken up in GP practices nationwide so that hard-pressed doctors can see more patients most in need of their expertise.
Improvements still need to be made in many GP practices, including reducing the amount of time some patients have to wait for appointments, but it is an exciting time for primary care and with this endorsement of trust from the public in our local doctors – the backbone of the NHS – it is a bright one, too.
Dr Shikha Pitalia,
GP and Director,