Our achievements over the last year - by Dr Amr Zeineldine
I’m a local GP in Southwark and also the Chair of NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group. Since I started this job I have seen many improvements in the way the NHS works. As we approach our first birthday, I wanted to share some of our key achievements over the past year.
We’ve been busy looking at how we can make health services in Southwark better. We’ve been redesigning primary and community services – these are the services you receive outside major hospitals like King’s and St Thomas’. 'Primary care' is the advice and treatment you receive from your local GP, practice nurse, pharmacist or dentist. We call the health services you receive close to your home or in your home 'community care'. For example: health visiting when you have just had a baby, physiotherapy or speech and language therapy. We’ve been talking to people about how we can make it easier for them to use GP and urgent care services. In Dulwich, we’ve agreed plans to build a new health centre which will mean community services like blood tests, specialist diabetes services or dermatology will all be housed in the same place. The idea behind these plans is to improve people’s health but we also hope it will also reduce the demand on our hospitals and A&E departments.
We’ve also successfully launched Personal Health Budgets for people receiving NHS continuing health care – these are people who require lots of care – like frail and elderly people or people with severe learning disabilities. Personal health budgets give patients more control of their care; they can choose the services they feel they need to help them feel better.
One of the things I’m most proud of is the increase in patient involvement in the work we do. Local people are attending their GP practice participation groups and the feedback is helping us really understand local issues. We’ve set up training for members to make sure we support them by giving skills to better understand the way the NHS works and how they can influence it. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in our engagement events – from our Call to Action event in October to our Health check day talking about services for people with learning disabilities. Have you thought about getting involved? Why not have a look around our Get involved section for more information or call us on 020 7525 7888 – we want to hear from you.