Rossendale GP practices receive Physician Associates boost
The nine GP Practices serving Rossendale residents, are now employing a small team of 4 Physician Associates. The nine GP practices work collaboratively as two distinct Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and the Physicians Associates will work across these two Primary Care Networks. This means that all practices and their patients will see the benefit of this boost to the primary care workforce. The Physician Associate team will increase to five before the end of 2021.
A Physician Associate is medically trained and a general healthcare professional similar to a GP, who work alongside doctors and provides medical care as the GP practice team. Typically a Physician Associate can be involved in a wide range of tasks that include taking the medical histories of a patient, performing physical examinations, diagnosing illness, seeing patients with long term conditions, performing diagnosis and therapeutic procedures, analysing test results, developing management plans and promoting health and wellbeing to avoid long term illness.
Dr Abdul Mannan, Clinical Director Rossendale West Primary Care Network and a Rossendale GP based in Haslingden said:
‘’I am delighted that here, in Rossendale, we are employing Physician Associates. They are an innovative way of bringing more health expertise and experience to the valley and will contribute to improving patient care. This small team of Physician Associates will make a big difference for patients across Rossendale, and working alongside and as part of the GP Practice teams, they will significantly help the GP teams provide high quality care and treatment to Rossendale residents. They will be available for patients through the normal appointment systems’’.
Victoria Thomas Hui who was one of the first Rossendale Physician Associates to be appointed as part of this team said:
‘’I have really settled in to my new role well, initially working under the guidance of Dr Mannan at the Hazelvalley Family Practice, before moving on to work with some of the other GP practices in Rossendale. I find it rewarding when I have supported a patient through the initial stages of a health crisis and then to see them on the other side feeling healthier and stronger than they were previously”
Dr John O’Malley who is the Clinical Director of Rossendale East PCN and a Rossendale GP, based in Bacup said
‘’Its great to be welcoming our new team of Physician Associates to Rossendale. I anticipate that they will complement the medical and non medical PCN workforce which from a medical perspective also includes Clinical Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Nursing Associates, Trainee Nursing Associates and First Contact Physiotherapists in addition to a Care Co-ordinator. The PCN also employs Social Prescribing Link Workers and Health Coaches’’
Rossendale is one of the first areas in Lancashire and the North West to employ Physician Associates in such large numbers, and as such they are leading the way with this innovative, tried and tested approach.