Archive for August, 2009

Improving Health

I have had the privilege of working with a wonderful group of people called Cornerstone who have three GP Surgeries in the Blackburn area. These guys are really working hard to improve the physical and spiritual health of the people they serve.

My job has been to assist them in winning the contract to serve a new area and then to promote them to the people of the area. See below the report from the Lancashire Telegraph.

Improving Healthcare

“A NEW GP health centre will bring more services into Blackburn and slash the number of patients per doctor.

Partners at Shadsworth Surgery on Shadsworth Road, Blackburn, who have formed a not-for-profit company will now provide an extra surgery for Blackburn in the Mill Hill area.

Cornerstone Community Interest Company, which was procured to run a new centre by Blackburn with Darwen NHS, says that in four years the practice will have achieved a doctor for every 1,500 people – five hundred people fewer than the UK average.

The new Bentham Road Health Centre opens on Tuesday, September 1 and as well as GP services, will offer contraception and sexual health services, clinics for asthma, bronchitis, heart problems and diabetes as well as drug and alcohol addiction services.

Health checks and support for those who want to stop smoking are also on offer. It is also thought to be the first surgery in Blackburn to offer weekend appointments.

Members of the public are also able to become members of the company if they wish to act as representatives for residents.

Medical Director of Cornerstone, Dr Alastair Murdoch, who will continue to work at his Shadsworth practice, said the centre would operate for the next year with one full time and one part time doctor, adding more doctors as patient numbers increase.

He said: “Myself and all the partners at the Shadsworth surgery felt very strongly that areas with the most problems should have the best doctors, but all too often they end up in leafy suburbs.

“We were delighted to have won the bid as we are a not-for-profit company which means we can plough our profits back into the centre.

“We hope people will view the company as theirs. Mill Hill is an area currently under-doctored and experiencing problems.

“Most ill health is not caused by disease, but by poverty, stress or depression, and there are limits to what traditional surgeries can do.”

Rob Bellingham, director of governance and engagement at NHS Blackburn with Darwen, said: “The opening of Bentham Road Health Centre is a realisation of a vision to give people in Blackburn with Darwen better care, better health and ultimately, a better and longer life.”

The new health centre will be open from 8am to 8pm on Thursdays, 8am to 6.30pm other weekdays and 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays. “