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Primary Care

In Lancashire and South Cumbria, we are investing millions of pounds in primary care services to ensure they can meet the future needs of patients. Primary care is the term we use to describe the routine, outpatient care that patients receive at first contact with the health care system, usually from a general practice, pharmacy or dental practice.

Our vision is to provide more care for patients closer to home, making it easier and more convenient for patients to get health advice and treatment when they need it and moving services from hospitals into the community where it is safe to do so.

We want to work alongside health and care partners in local communities – which you may sometimes hear being described as neighbourhoods - to support people to manage their own health better and help them to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. 

 

What changes have we made so far in Lancashire and South Cumbria?

  • Evening and weekend appointments are now available for all patients so it is easier for people who work or have caring responsibilities to see a GP or other health professional 
  • We have introduced different roles to general practice, including clinical pharmacists, paramedics and physician associates so that GPs can spend more time with patients with complex needs and patients can see the right health professional to meet their needs
  • Trialling access to online health appointments and online health advice and information in a number of practices (find out more about digital initiatives here)
  • Provided practice staff with specialist training so they can ask patients about their symptoms and direct them to the right health professional to meet their needs
  • Introduced an electronic shared care record so that all professionals involved in someone’s care can see and update their information and patients can view their own records
  • Social prescribing – where health professionals can prescribe a non-medical activity, for example, gardening, to support patients’ physical and mental health​

Find out more

Click on the areas below to find out more information. 

 

Primary Care Networks

Demand for health and care services is increasing as the population ages. Bringing groups of general practices together with other health and care services to support populations of 30,000 – 50,000 is at the heart of our plans to make primary care services stronger so that they can continue to provide high-quality patient care.

We call these partnerships primary care networks and we have 41 covering the whole patient population across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Click here to find out more about Primary Care Networks

Extended access

Patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria can now access appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional in the evenings and weekends either through a local GP access ‘hub’, their own practice or a practice nearby. 

Speak to your practice or visit your practice website to find out about evening and weekend appointments where you live.

Lancashire GP Dr Peter Gregory explains GP extended access (evening and weekend) appointments in this video

Working together

Sustaining and transforming primary care will help to support changes across the whole of the health and social care system so that patients can continue to receive high-quality care.

Below are examples of how different areas of health are working together to provide the best care for local people.

Dental

Dental practices will work closely with general practices and other primary care services to help manage patients’ health. We aim to develop more specialist dental services in the community for oral surgery and orthodontics.

General practices will work more closely with dental practices and will be able to refer patients to dental services. In the same way, dentists will be able to signpost patients into general practice and other health services if they identify other health needs during a dental appointment.

Pharmacy

Community pharmacies will work closely with general practices and other primary care services to help manage patients’ health.

They will increasingly be the first place patients go to when they need healthcare advice and treatment for minor illness and injury. Our ambition is that pharmacists will be able to prescribe, as well as supply medication and make appointments for patients with other health professionals.

Eye health services

We aim to move more eye health services into the community to make it easier for patients to access them.

General practices will work more closely with eye health services and will be able to refer into the primary eye care service.

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