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GP federation hires hundreds of staff from hospital trust

Some 350 hospital staff are set to move from a trust in London to be shared between a nearby GP provider and another local trust as part of plans to integrate care and improve community health services.

NHS Tower Hamlets CCG has signed a five-year agreement worth £185m between one GP federation and two trusts, to reduce duplication of healthcare services in the area.

The agreement between Tower Hamlets GP Care Group Community Interest Company, Barts Health NHS Trust, and East London NHS Foundation Trust, will see 350 staff move from Barts to join the GP federation and East London NHS Foundation Trust.

The partnership will mean patients can be released earlier from hospital and receive more care in their homes.

The CCG has also committed to creating a single patient record and a 24-hour point of access for patients that is available seven days a week. The partnership also aims to improve signposting and self-care.

Dr Phillip Bennett-Richards, chair of Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, said: ‘Collaborative working is extremely important to enable the sustainability of general practice to continue to deliver the highest possible level of patient care in these challenging times.’

The agreement comes off the back of the Tower Hamlets Together vanguard that was set up in the area in 2015 and led by the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group.

Simon Hall, acting chief officer of NHS Tower Hamlets CCG, said the partnership would support care integration and bring long-term benefits for local people.

He said: ‘The new model has been designed to meet the needs of individual patients and benefit the wellbeing of the Tower Hamlets population and the local health system.

‘As local GP practices will be working in close partnership with providers, we will also be able to reduce duplication and deliver effective services that will really make a difference for our patients.’