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GPs form 'super group' to ease pressure on resources

A new super group of GP practices hopes to ease pressure on resources at surgeries in the Royal Borough.

The GP federation for Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead, known as F-WAM, will see a group of 16 surgeries sharing their expertise.

The surgeries are across the borough and have a total of 140,000 registered patients on their list. An increase in the needs of an aging population and replacing retiring doctors means they are feeling the strain.

The federation was officially formed on Wednesday, April 26, after about a year of preparation.

Patients are not expected to see any immediate changes, with each practice remaining independent.

The day-to-day running of the surgeries will stay the same, with patients seeing the same staff at the same places.

The real change will be behind the scenes and the federation is hoping access to services will improve with surgeries working more closely together.

Surgeries will work together to improve ‘back- room services’ like pay roll.

Practice manager Graham Collins, from Claremont Surgery in Cookham Road, Maidenhead, said: “From the patients’ point of view, initially not a lot will be different but hopefully in time we can get efficiency for back room services.

“In time, patients might see additional services available.”

In the first year, as well as improving efficiency, F-WAM hopes to develop new community services such as physiotherapy and deep vein thrombosis clinics, which would be available to patients from the 16 practices.

There is also a plan to introduce clinical pharmacists into surgery teams, so they could consult with and treat patients directly.

Dr Mick Watts, from Datchet Health Centre, said this will hopefully ‘relieve pressure on all the surgeries and allow consistent services to be provided’.

So far the federation has been funded by the individual practices but Dr Watts added: “We hope that our Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who support our new organisation, will assist with additional resources to support some projects to ensure its success.

“In other areas CCG’s have match-funded the start-up costs contributed by GPs.”

To find out more or comment on how services could be improved email wam.federation@nhs.net

Practices in the new GPs’ federation, known as F-WAM:

Windsor area:

Clarence Medical Centre, Datchet Health Centre, Lee House, Sheet Street, Radnor House and Ascot Medical Centre, Runnymede Medical Centre and Newton Court, South Meadow and Dedworth Medical Centre.

Maidenhead area:

Cedars, Claremont and Holyport, Cookham Medical Centre, Cordwallis Road, Linden Medical Centre, Redwood House, Rosemead, Ross Road Medical Centre, Woodlands Park.

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