Alnwick Medical Group now 'a long way towards where it wanted to be'

Two years on from its creation following the merger of two GP practices, Alnwick Medical Group is now making significant progress.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 6:38 pm
Partner Dr Adam Henry with practice manager Sophie Jerrom and managing partner Tony Brown. Picture by Jane Coltman

That is the view of managing partner Tony Brown, speaking at Alnwick Town Council last Thursday.

Bondgate Practice and Infirmary Drive Medical Group merged in 2017, with its successor Alnwick Medical Group rated as ‘good’ by inspectors earlier this year.

“Everyone who has been a patient knows the problems we went through in the year up to the merge with some significant issues and the two years after the merge,” said Mr Brown.

“There is never going to be a service with instant access and without problems but we are a long way towards where we wanted to be when we merged two years ago. I’d say the next 12 months will really show the service we can provide.”

Much of its focus is now on social prescribing with people being connected to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.

“We are becoming a hub for social prescribing in the Alnwick area,” said Mr Brown. “As the major health provider in the area, we have accepted it’s our duty to tie all this together.

“We do physical activities like walking groups, we are affiliated with the park run and we do social activities like knitting. We’re looking at an awful lot more of these.

“We really want to give people the opportunity to get into group activities as much as possible. This isn’t just about your physical health; it’s about helping to keep loneliness at bay, helping people interact with others.”

It is working with the likes of Alzheimers UK and Citizens Advice Northumberland to help patients access advice, while it is also looking to expand help for veterans.

“It feels within Alnwick Medical Group that there is now lots we can take forward,” said Mr Brown. “To that end, we have asked for an app to be written which will give a directory of everything that’s on in and around Alnwick. A resident or visitor will be able to download the app, look at the social events or physical events and access help that is out there.”