Past, present and the future of GP services

Dr Vindi Bhandal. EMN-180609-134635001
Dr Vindi Bhandal. EMN-180609-134635001

Dr Vindi Bhandal, a senior partner at Sleaford Medical Group, is penning the first of a monthly series of medical features with The Standard focussing on specific topics of well-being and health concerning Sleaford people, along with simple medical advice. She writes...

Sleaford Medical Group has had a presence in the town since 1969, when a number of smaller practices decided to form one collaborative group of general practitioners.

They moved into a single site in order to provide a comprehensive and wider range of services to the population of Sleaford. The practice has gone through many changes over the past nearly 50 years, moving to its current site on Boston Road in 1992. The practice is a training practice for junior doctors and takes on local apprentices.

In 2014 Sleaford Urgent Care Unit opened, the first of its kind in the county - to relieve the pressure on the A&E departments at the local hospitals. This has proved to be a success for the local population for minor urgent problems at evenings and weekends. Sleaford Medical Group may be developing further in the future with the local transformation plan for the provision of services for residents of Sleaford and the possible development of a “hub” to integrate social and mental health services alongside general practitioners in primary care.

Having joined Sleaford Medical Group in 1997, I see over the past few years the challenge facing general practice is the workload placed on the staff and practices and the need to better manage the patient workload. The national shortage of GPs has led the practice to develop a wider range of clinical staff and to use technology, this is in line with the national development programme to transform the NHS, to better manage patient demand.

The practice has re-established a Patient Participation Group (PPG), we hope this will allow for two way communication to provide a patient perspective on healthcare services , promote healthy lifestyles and encourage patients to take responsibility for their health. Please come along to our first PPG event - the Summer Fete on September 16 in the surgery car park.

We will be running flu vaccination clinics from September 15.