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NHS England appoints GP to spread integration with social care

NHS England has appointed a specialist GP from Dorset to help spread techniques that will help integrate health and social care services in England.

Dr Karen Kirkham, who is a GP partner in Dorset and specialises in women’s health, will work with the wider GP community to spread ‘tried and tested innovation and transformation techniques’ across the country.

In her new role as national clinical advisor for primary care at NHS England, she will visit places, learn about their innovations and share them with health professionals in other areas, encouraging them to adopt the successful models and spread good practice.

Dr Kirkham, who has been a GP for 25 years, set up the Dorset Integrated Care System where patients are put on a rolling list each week if they are thought to be at risk of hospital admission.

These patients are discussed at a meeting with doctors, nurses, social care staff and physiotherapists in West Dorset.

Dr Kirkham said: ‘I’m passionate about doing things differently and in Dorset already we’ve shown how by using new models of care can we make the patient experience so much better.

‘I’m committed to strengthening primary care as the foundation of the NHS and I have a strong interest in integrating health and care services across the system. As part of this new role I want to ensure high quality and sustainable general practice as a fundamental building block within integrated care systems and develop population health analytics and management systems to provide the basis or intelligent decision-making.’