Barnstaple Alliance Photo of Barnstaple

Image of Barnstaple Square

Barnstaple Alliance - News and Current Projects


Barnstaple Alliance became a Primary Care Network on 1st July 2019.

What are primary care networks?
Primary care networks form a key building block of the NHS long-term plan. Bringing general practices together to work at scale has been a policy priority for some years for a range of reasons, including improving the ability of practices to recruit and retain staff; to manage financial and estates pressures; to provide a wider range of services to patients and to more easily integrate with the wider health and care system, voluntary sector and other organisations.

While GP practices have been finding different ways of working together over many years - for example in super-partnerships, federations, clusters and networks - the NHS long-term plan and the new GP contract, which took effect in April 2019, put a more formal structure around this way of working, but without creating new statutory bodies.

All GP practices are expected to come together in geographical networks covering populations of approximately 30-50,000 patients by July 2019 if they are to take advantage of additional funding attached to the GP contract. External Link image

What does this mean for Barnstaple?
The four practices that make up Barnstaple Alliance will still be independent practices but will work closer together to provide care for our 48,000 patients.

We have appointed Dr Oliver Hassall and Dr Sophia Erdozain as joint Clinical Directors for the Primary Care Network. Their role is to provide clinical leadership and support our collaborative working across all 4 practices.

We have employed some new additional staff to work across the 4 practices. We welcome the following people to our alliance -
Social Prescriber - Sam Ismael
Clinical Pharmacist - Sarah Barrett
First Contact Physiotherapist - Charlie Wilkins

They all work across all 4 practices on different days through out the week. You can find out more about them and their roles from your practice.

Current Projects

Proactive carehome and housebound service.

We are piloting a new service to help care for our patients in carehomes and the housebound. This is a six month project that started in January. We have some additional dedicated GP, Nurse and Clinical Pharmacist time and they are systematically visiting all of the carehomes where our patients live plus some of our housebound patients to carry out some health checks and medication reviews.

GP visiting service.

The second pilot we have started in February for six months is some additional dedicated GP time every morning Mon-Fri to start visiting our patients who are too unwell to attend our practices. The aim is to visit some patients between 9-1 and if anyone needs admission to hospital or referral to another service we can organise that promptly in the morning rather than later in the day.

Both of the above new services are provided in a joint way across all 4 practices in the Barnstaple Alliance.