General Practice in Corbridge
Corbridge Medical Group is a thriving, busy, town practice with around 7000 patients, covering an area of 350 square miles including many outlying villages. There has been a group practice in Corbridge since the 1940’s. This was based initially in Bridge House with Drs Gas, Basham & Hird being one of the more memorable trio of partners practising by this well known Tyne crossing. Although technology has changed the core values of the practice have remained the same over time. So although modern, innovative and up to date we are committed to our patients, value continuity, are team orientated and enjoy coming to work.
The current partnership is comprised of Roger Dykins (1996) Sally Parkin (2012), Ashleigh Willins (2012) Neil Stanley (2013), Tom Schatzberger (2016) and Rob Barker (2017). We have a weekly partners’ meeting with our practice manager, Julie Johnston (2004), with each partner overseeing specific areas of organisational and clinical work. By sharing responsibility, with the support of our practice manager and the wider team, we feel that this keeps the partnership healthy.
The Practice Team works well
We are a six partner rural dispensing practice directly employing 21 staff, with an extended team of Acute Trust employed staff attached to the practice. A monthly cycle of Friday afternoon meetings brings us together in differing ways to plan, learn and also discuss patients. This includes monthly primary health care team meetings, a journal club, significant event meetings, a prescribing group and team educational meetings. We hold a regular weekly handover meeting each Friday afternoon, to discuss patients with the community staff.
Everyone has an equal voice in shaping the way we develop and this is given expression through a variety of multi-disciplinary working groups. We hold an annual practice away-day, attended by all members of the team, at which we decide our main priorities for the forthcoming year and working jointly to solve any identified problem areas.
Education and training
We have been a teaching practice continuously since 1982 and usually have an attached full-time GP registrar, with the undergraduate and postgraduate education of medical and nursing students frequently ongoing. We are strongly committed to the personal and professional development of all members of the practice team. Dr Parkin and Dr Schatzberger are the lead trainers within the practice for the Northumberland Vocational Training Scheme. Currently Dr Parkin trains our part-time innovative GPStRs who usually combine their GP training with academic research. Dr Stanley and Dr Barker provide mentoring and teaching for our Foundation Year 2 doctors and Dr Willins and Dr Stanley oversee the teaching programme for the Newcastle University Medical students, utilising all the members of the team in order to deliver these programmes.
We are a GMS (General Medical Services) practice working under contract to NHS England and participating in the Northumberland Clinical Comissioning Group. The practice is represented on the West Northumberland CCG Group by Dr Neil Stanley.
We are also members of our local GP Practice Federation, Hadrian Primary Care Alliance which is an alliance of 12 member practices who work together to develop services for patients in Tynedale.
The practice has been rated by CQC as Outstanding (March 2016) and consistently performs well against QOF indicators averaging 98.6% of points in recent years.
We have a wide mix of patients. One third of Corbridge patients are pensioners and we have a higher than average population of over 80s. We oversee the medical care in five care homes within the practice area. Corbridge itself has a number of well kept housing estates many with younger families and we have a large farming community who are mostly independent and extremely considerate. As a consequence of this however, home visits serve an important role for our practice population and this has an impact upon our workload.
Since November 2007 the practice has been based in a purpose built health centre. The team has expanded considerably to cope with the many and varied roles now required of primary care practitioners and we aim to continue to develop to meet the needs of the local community from our within new building. The partners are signatories to the head-lease of the building which was funded via PFI and a sub-lease exists for the provision of space to community staff.
We are a dispensing practice, providing this service to around half of our practice population. We offer a comprehensive range of enhanced services including minor surgery, IUD fitting, DMARD monitoring and minor injuries as well as ongoing structured care for patients with chronic conditions, child health surveillance and medicines management. We offer extended hours on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings which we operate by way of a rota between the partners. The practice is also a CLRN research practice, participating in a number of research studies and signposting patients to research projects as appropriate.
The practice uses the EMIS Web clinical system and is relatively paper-light, with all consultations recorded solely on computer, pathology links and scanning of all hospital letters. Patients are able to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online via the EMIS Access system and currently we have 1100 patients registered for this service.