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GP vows better service in the future for East Lancashire patients
PATIENTS will soon benefit from an improved ‘local’ health service, according to the GP leading the new East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Dr Mike Ions has worked in Pendle since 1982 and is based at Pendle View Medical Centre, Brierfield.
He has been elected to head the body replacing the East Lancashire PCT in April 2013, which will see GPs commission services for patients directly.
Dr Ions said: “Patients won’t notice a difference at first, but over two or three years we hope there will be a big improvement.
“We want clinicians to look at delivering services locally. We want fewer people travelling outside the area or to large district hospitals.
“To achieve this, for example, the CCG is now working with the hospital trust to develop tele-healthcare, where patients with respiratory problems can do their own routine health diagnostic tests at home and send the results to the hospital via telephone or secure internet.
“GPs are much more in tune with patients wishes and are better at getting general feedback – PCTs can seem very remote.”
The changes, brought in under the Health and Social Care Bill, have been criticised by bodies including the Royal Colleges of GPs, Nurses, Midwives and the British Medical Association. But Dr Ions said that the feeling in East Lancashire was ‘very positive’.
He said: “All 65 surgeries in East Lancashire have signed up to become members of the CCG and the doctors I speak to are embracing the change.
“We want to be responsive to the individual needs of the patient, and there will be differences in services in areas depending on the population’s need, though the delivery of core services will be the same nationally.”
East Lancashire CCG will be one of the largest in the country, serving 370,000 patients with a budget of £450million – the same commissioning budget as the PCT has now.
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