Case study summary
Broadwater Farm Health Centre was a practice that was struggling with workload due to serving an atypical patient list. As a result of investment under the Practice Resilience Programme, the practice has developed a comprehensive understanding of patient need as well as a new service specification that addresses the demand and need in this type of atypical practice. The practice has also developed a new model for recruitment.
Broadwater Farm Health Centre provides GP services in the Broadwater Farm housing estate in North Tottenham, London.
Although it is now part of a group of practices which work together to provide primary care services in Haringey, Broadwater Farm Health Centre was previously a ‘single-handed’ practice – the term used for GPs which operate alone from their premises and not in partnership with other GPs.
The practice is based in a purpose built health centre on the Broadwater Farm housing estate. The estate has a population of around 4 – 5000 people, and the practice treats about 3000 people. There are some significant economic, social and health challenges.
Broadwater Farm Health Centre is run by the Lawrence House Surgery which provides services at three other surgeries in North East Haringey. Each of the surgeries are in areas with challenges, but GPs at Broadwater Farm reported that they felt that the workload at this practice was particularly challenging. GPs reported that a high number of patients require advocacy and suffer from multiple health conditions and social care issues, which require additional intensive, targeted support from practice staff.
Although the Health Centre was an early instigator of GP First (a telephone consultation instead of a face to face appointment where appropriate) and other initiatives designed to help manage workload, the GPs at Broadwater Farm do not feel that these schemes have been effective in supporting them to meet the challenges of this practice. Recruitment and retention of staff is also very difficult in all practice roles.
Investment from the Practice Resilience Programme as well as other funding made available in the General Practice Forward View, totalling £28,000 was offered as part of a long-term package of support to the practice. The later will inform commissioning intentions and a new model of delivery of this type of atypical practice.
As a result of this investment, the practice has developed a comprehensive understanding of patient need as well as a new service specification that addresses the demand and need in this type of atypical practice. The practice has also developed a new model for recruitment.