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GPs handed hospital medical director roles in integrated care shake-up

By Gareth Iacobucci

A group of GPs are to become medical directors of their local hospital trust in a groundbreaking move designed to create better integration between primary and secondary care.

Three GPs will job-share the newly-created role of GP Medical Director at Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Trafford General, Altrincham General and Stretford Memorial Hospitals, as well as a range of community-based health services.

Dr Jonathan Berry, Dr Liz Clarke and Dr Ray Wilson – who all practise locally – will become part of the Trust's executive team, sharing a vote on the Board, and each spending around one day a week working for the Trust.

The role of GP Medical Director – described as ‘the first of its kind at an English hospital trust' - has been especially created to generate closer working between primary and secondary care.

The new Medical Directors will be expected to play a key role in helping the Trust develop new services outside hospital, and will be responsible for creating conditions that allow Trust staff and GP practices to share expertise and skills, as well as enabling patients to have a greater say in how services are developed.

Dr Clarke, a GP in Sale and GP education and appraisal lead at Trafford PCT, said: ‘I am interested in working more closely with secondary care colleagues to improve pathways for patient care and in joint learning, thus ensuring the necessary knowledge and skill mix to deliver a high standard of care to our patients.'

Ron Calvert, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: ‘GPs know what health services their patients want and need and how those needs are likely to change over time. For that reason, we believe it is absolutely vital for hospitals to work closely with GPs when planning for the future.'

‘The appointment of a GP Medical Director to our Board will provide us with in-house expertise from three very experienced and knowledgeable local GPs who are ideally placed to help us make sure we are delivering the health services that local patients need and want.'

Dr Liz Clarke, a GP in Trafford, has been appointed as medical director at Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust Dr Liz Clarke, a GP in Trafford, has been appointed as medical director at Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust