Two trusts in the North West have become partners at a local GP practice.

Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay FT are both involved in the Better Care Together primary and acute care system vanguard, led by UHMB.

The trusts have joined the Waterloo House GP practice as partners.

They will run the “business side” of the practice, based in Millom, Cumbria, which includes being responsible for IT, workforce, procurement, estates and equipment. The GP partners will oversee “overall clinical leadership”.

Two representatives from each trust will join the practice’s management team:

  • Paul Grout, deputy medical director, and Kate Maynard, deputy chief operating officer, from UHMB; and
  • John Howarth, deputy chief operating officer, and Dee Houghton, associate director of operations for south Cumbria community services, from Cumbria Partnership.

Dr Grout said: “It’s early days but the work we have been doing over the last few months is already showing promising signs, with a 23 per cent reduction in unplanned admissions to our acute hospitals.

“This new way of working has huge potential to be delivering more care locally in Millom and looking after the health needs of the population much more effectively.”

Dr Howarth said: “We have already been able to work up a robust financial plan for the future and we are now working on innovative new models to improve recruitment by creating new roles across our partnership.

“Our most immediate challenge is to secure upgraded premises as the existing facilities are extremely cramped and very challenging for staff and patients. We will be working urgently with NHS England to access the funds they granted last year so we can deliver the planned extension that the community so desperately needs.”