The Royal Free London Foundation Trust, which already runs a chain of hospitals across north London, is looking at models of integration between acute and primary care.

In an email seen by HSJ, the trust invited local GP practices to visit the primary and acute care system vanguard run by Yeovil District Hospital FT on 11 November.

HSJ understands trust was also planning to visit Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, which is leading the Northumberland PACS.

The Royal Free currently leads an acute care collaboration vanguard and in August, NHS Improvement gave it powers to lead groups or chains of hospitals.

The email, sent by the trust to practices across north central London, said: “We have been in dialogue with Yeovil District Hospital, who have successfully collaborated with primary care partners through their ‘Symphony’ programme.

The email said: “From what we have heard, [Yeovil’s] approach to working with local GP practices has helped to develop the relationships, resources and skill sets required to deliver better integrated services for their patients, whilst also helping to manage workloads of staff in primary care.

“We think there may be some aspects of this approach that could work well in this part of London.”

The email added that the trust was keen to see the model working in practice before “getting too ahead of ourselves”.

Yeovil District Hospital is the lead secondary care provider in the Symphony PACS and has set up a subsidiary company called Symphony Healthcare Services, which took over running three GP practices in March.

A trust spokeswoman said: “The vanguard programme has highlighted NHS organisations that are deploying innovative care models – and this is how we identified Yeovil as an area from which we could learn.

“Staff from Royal Free London and colleagues from GP practices in north central London visited Yeovil District Hospital and GP practices with whom they are working on Friday 11 November 2016.

“This proved to be a highly informative visit. In particular, it allowed us to see how teams in primary care and acute care are working together to improve services for patients.”