Haydock Medical Centre
Joining Modality Partnership
HAYDOCK MEDICAL CENTRE JOINING MODALITY PARTNERSHIP
On August 23rd, we hosted around 350 patients at the Mercure Hotel in St Helens. For those unable to attend or those seeking a summary, Dr Martin Breach, alongside Vincent Sai, the CEO and Partner of Modality Partnership, announced the merger of Haydock Medical Centre and Modality Partnership.
General Practices across the country have been under great pressure. Demand has sky-rocketed and Haydock Medical Centre has also been stretched thin with Dr Breach being the only remaining partner out of 10 partners (across the 2 former practices). The practice has struggled to recruit and there is no simple answer to this. It is difficult to find staff in this current climate and it takes time to train people but with the help of Modality Partnership, we aim to build a more resilient team and deliver improved services.
There was a lot of confusion at first as to what Modality Partnership stood for with initial fears that this was a form of privatisation and distant from the values of the NHS. This is far from the case. Modality Partnership is an award-winning NHS super partnership made up of GP practices who continue to be owned by local GP partners. All that sets them apart from other traditional NHS partnerships is that they are a lot bigger. They have 130 partners across 49 sites looking after around half a million patients. Through their commitment to the NHS values and belief in cooperation and working together, Modality have successfully transformed many GP practices nationally.
It was clear from feedback that improving access needs to be a priority. There was frustration regarding long waiting times for getting through to reception on the phone and a lack of appointments. The meeting also highlighted poor communication from the practice to the patients as an opportunity for improvement. There was a lack of awareness on certain services on offer. For some time now, Haydock has employed 3 specialist mental health nurse practitioners, 3 advanced nurse practitioners, a diabetes specialist nurse and a family planning specialist nurse – which some patients attending the event did not know about.
We have taken all your feedback on board and are already making plans to make services more widely known, with larger patient feedback groups, regular practice newsletters and feedback sessions in the near future.
Additionally, we are exploring the use of technology which can improve services such as a more streamlined approach to request repeat prescriptions. However, we recognise technology may not always be accessible for all of our patients, so we are working on ensuring the ability for these processes to be done in person and in a way most convenient for you.
We are also looking at ways in which we can improve the working day for our staff which will ultimately help with our efforts to recruit and retain staff. We are looking to invest in automation to remove the mundane repetitive processes that currently GPs spend unnecessary amounts of time on. Modality Partnership through their use of technology have already saved 35,000 hours in the past year and have plans to implement these in Haydock. This will open more time for GPs that will no doubt be invaluable to improve access and also their own wellbeing.
Modality Partnership’s career structure is also going to be helpful going forward. It has proven to be attractive to younger GPs, with them having opportunities to become partners within the partnership. This prospect has already attracted recent new doctors to the practice, and we hope it will continue to do so.
However, it is the day-to-day stresses and abuse that can ultimately deter someone from wanting to work in the practice. The practice has endured baseless rumours, trolling, personal attacks and negativity on social media. We ask that you are kind and empathetic to staff in person and online as it makes an immense difference to our team
This change will take effect from the 1st of October. The journey to better service will not be immediate, and we ask for your trust, support, and feedback during this transition period. We are aware that many experiences with the practice have been unsatisfactory and for this we are very sorry; we are putting the steps in place to improve and transform our services.
In summary, we are listening to you. Modality Partnership is lifting a massive weight from the shoulders of the staff at Haydock Medical Centre. Modality’s involvement will help improve standards of care for our patients. We want to reassure you that we are doing our best to secure a strong and stable future for the practice. You can find out more about Modality, their standards and background on their website. We are open to answering any questions you may have.
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Joining Modality Partnership
We're grateful that so many of you were able to attend the meeting on Tuesday afternoon 23rd August We're sorry that we had to change the venue at short notice as the practice couldn't accommodate the numbers who wanted to attend.
At Haydock Medical Centre, we have faced the same challenges and pressures that GP practices all over the UK are experiencing. We have had to give very careful thought as to how to secure the future of the practice and to ensure that it thrives and is successful in the long term.
Modality Partnership is a UK NHS GP partnership. It is owned by its own GP partners, and it’s essentially the same as any other traditional NHS GP partnership, except that it is bigger. It has 130 partners and half a million patients in seven different areas of the UK, so it can be described as a super-partnership.
It is not American or a multi-national. Like every other GP partnership in the country, Modality partners are self-employed GPs who provide services for the NHS.
When our local primary care network in Newton and Haydock was being formed about 4 years ago, Modality provided management support to help our network grow and develop. We’ve got to know the Modality team over this time. They are very good and very capable people, who are deeply committed to NHS general practice.
We have now reached agreement that Haydock Medical Centre will join Modality partnership and will become a Modality practice from 1st October 2022. Current and future GP partners in the practice will be Modality partners.
We firmly believe that Modality is one of the best GP partnerships in this country. It has an intense focus on quality of care and quality of management, and will work with us to improve the services that you experience. We’re extremely fortunate to have this expert support.
We believe that there is strength in numbers. Being a member of a much larger organisation will give us resources that we could not possibly access if we remained an individual practice. We consider that the practice will be stronger and more stable with this support, and that this will assist us to recruit and retain the best doctors, nurses and staff to work here.
We hope you understand the significant pressures and challenges we have been facing - which are common to practices all over the country. We know that at times your experiences with our GP surgery haven't been excellent, and we view this as a definitive step to stabilise the practice and improve our services. Having support from Modality will take some pressures off our shoulders and over time will lead to an improvement in the way we operate .
We listened to many of your concerns at Tuesday's meeting, and a common theme was that we need to improve our communication with you. We agree, and we will be working with Modality to communicate better with more convenient and larger patient participation groups, regular newsletters and feedback sessions. We will also be looking to see if we can streamline our telephone services.
We will issue a more detailed announcement of the partnership in the coming weeks but in the meantime, we’d like to reiterate how grateful we are for your support. We feel very positive and optimistic about our future as a practice, and hope you do too. We ask for your backing through this transition and trust that you will benefit directly from these changes to our service.
Dr Martin Breach 24th August 2022
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