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ELDERLY 'THE PRIORITY' AS GPs TAKE OVER.

Byline: Warren Manger

DOCTORS who are set to take over the NHS in south Warwickshire have promised to prioritise seamless care for frail elderly patients.

South Warwickshire Clincial Commissioning Group is one of three collectives of GPs who will assume responsibility for local NHS services and budgets from April next year.

The area includes Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford and numerous villages which are home to many frail, elderly patients.

Kenilworth GP David Spraggett, acting chair of the commissioning group, said the aim was to improve healthcare for everyone, but it was also important to focus on priority groups such as frail pensioners.

Dr Spraggett said: "Integrating health and social care is absolutely vital for improving the health of frail older people.

"The result of this should be an improvement in the health and care of those with long term conditions and in the health and care of frail older people, enabling them to maintain their independence."

GPs are taking responsibility for local NHS budgets as part of the government shake up of the NHS.

They will also be responsible for planning and buying services for patients. That effectively means contracting hospitals, charities and companies to provide healthcare.

It means the local primary care trusts, NHS Coventry and NHS Warwickshire, will be abolished.

They will be replaced by three groups of GPs - one in south Warwickshire, another covering Nuneaton and the north of the county and a third for Coventry and Rugby.

South Warwickshire commissioning group is currently working towards being officially authorised by the Department of Health. It is currently drawing up its priorities and commissioning plan.

The group has also appointed a number of managers including Anna Burns as director of strategy and engagement, Alison Walshe as director of performance and Paul Jarvis as chief finance officer.

Gill Entwistle, who has been appointed as accountable officer, said: "We aim to achieve better healthcare for everyone.

"Having GPs lead the commissioning process means we are able to harness their knowledge of local health challenges and how health provision can be improved."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 21, 2012
Words:341
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