Six primary care networks launched in Reading

GP surgeries are working more closely together to spend new government funding to employ physios, pharmacists and social prescribers to improve patient care.
Patient having their blood pressure taken by their GP

A new way of working for GP surgeries has been launched in Reading which aims to give more modern, joined up services to local people.

GP surgeries across the borough have teamed up to form six ‘primary care networks’ (PCNs). These networks will receive extra government funding, to employ social prescribers, pharmacists, physiotherapists and other professionals to free up doctors' time to concentrate on more urgent or complicated patient cases.  The networks are also expected to make more use of digital technology to improve patient care.

The six new primary care networks in Reading

Tilehurst: Made up of Westwood Road, Grovelands and Tilehurst Village surgeries

Whitley:  London Street, Milman Road, South Reading & Shinfield, and Longbarn Lane surgeries

Reading Central: Abbey Medical, Chatham Street, Eldon Road, Kennet, Melrose, Pembroke, Reading Walk-in Centre, and Russell Street surgeries

University: University Medical Group (University Health Centre and Whitley Villa Surgery)

Caversham: Balmore Park and Emmer Green surgeries

Reading West: Circuit Lane, Tilehurst (Potteries) and Western Elms surgeries

Cathy Winfield, chief officer for the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which oversees local GP services, said: “It’ll be so much easier for people to see a number of health and social care professionals on their doorstep, rather than having to trek into hospital for consultations and appointments. And a smarter use of technology means patients won’t have to keep repeating their medical history every time they see someone at the surgery.

“The PCNs are also placing a greater emphasis on people’s social and emotional wellbeing and our strong partnership links with local authorities, the voluntary sector and community groups, is helping us identify what sort of care each network’s neighbourhood wants,” she added.

Patients do not need to take any action as a result of this change and should continue to contact their own GP surgery as usual for appointments.