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Focus on youth at GP-led centre

A new health centre in Oldham is targeting young people's health. Dr Shelley Grumbridge explains.

I am one of five GPs at Lindley House Health Centre, a new GP-led facility in Oldham that has a special focus on improving services for young people.

The centre, which opened in December, is in the town centre. It occupies a building that underwent a huge refurbishment to open as a new GP health centre and walk-in centre.

We see registered and unregistered patients 8am-8pm, 365 days a year. There is good continuity and quality of care because, in addition to our nurses, a GP offering appointments is on site 12 hours a day.

Although we target young people, we see patients of all ages from many different communities. We can register anyone who lives in the Oldham area.

Successful bids
Not-for-profit organisation GTD Primary Care, a subsidiary of Go To Doc Ltd, runs the health centre. Originally based in Oldham and Tameside to provide out-of-hours services, Go To Doc won the tender for Lindley House.

It also bid successfully for GP-led health centres in Ashton and Manchester and for alternative provider medical services practices in Oldham, Manchester, Heywood, Rochdale and Tameside.

As a salaried GP partner, I received the opportunity to expand my interests by helping to recruit staff and to get the new health centre up and running.

I am involved in managerial aspects of service development and implementation. I organise the GP rota and liaise with the centre manager and - for the QOF and our key performance indicators - with Go To Doc and NHS Oldham.

Go To Doc is a forward-thinking, supportive company. It gives me time off for training which it also funds, and offers the model salaried GP contract, a better than average salary and the NHS Pension Scheme. I hope we can become a training practice in the near future and give other doctors a taste of working at a GP-led centre.

As I was born and brought up in Oldham, joining the Lindley House team was a great opportunity for me to give something back to my local community. I have a keen interest in sexual health and young people's services and have done various courses in this area.

There was a need locally for better access to health services for young people - not just for sexual health, but for all manner of health and well-being issues.

We are working towards getting NHS accreditation for the You're Welcome quality criteria. We are ideally situated for this, being across the road from Oldham Sixth Form College and around the corner from Oldham College and the Oldham campus of Huddersfield University.

Dr Shelley Grumbridge (r) with colleague Dr Dhanya Pawar

Forging local connections
I started at Lindley House in September, along with the centre manager and reception team. We used the time until the health centre opened to network with local agencies and communities to tailor our young people's services to their needs.

We formed excellent links with both local colleges and their specialist nurse and with the university. We got involved with some of the students' work in health promotion and hope to offer work experience placements in the near future.

Positive Steps Oldham, a one-stop-shop for young people's services in Oldham, also works closely with us. This offers a fantastic service, along with the drugs and alcohol team and lots of other agencies.

We work with many local service providers including local children's centres, off-the-record young person's counselling services, Brook Advisory Services, contraception and sexual health services, and midwives and health visitors.

Another important link-up is with a local health improvement service that works with us to pilot various schemes aimed at young people including healthy lifestyle choices and positive body image services.

Our team includes four other GPs, five advanced or emergency nurse practitioners, a practice nurse, a health centre manager and five receptionists. We also get hands-on help from Go To Doc's managerial staff.

At our official open day in December, speakers from NHS Oldham, the local authority and Go To Doc said that the new health centre will be a great resource for young people. The centre was also praised as an innovative concept in integrated care for young people as it works with so many local agencies.

It was a great day. Hopefully by working more closely and effectively together we can achieve a marked improvement in patient care for young people.

  • Dr Shelley Grumbridge is a GP in Oldham, Greater Manchester


GP-led health centre
Run by not-for-profit company GTD Primary Care Ltd, a subsidiary of Go To Doc Ltd.

Location: Oldham town centre, Greater Manchester.

Staff: Five salaried GPs, five advanced or emergency nurse practitioners, practice nurse, centre manager, five reception/administrative staff.

GPs' employment terms: Salaried GP model contract.

NHS Pension Scheme: Funded training.

Opening hours: GP surgery and walk-in clinic open 8am-8pm, 365 days a year.

Services: All usual GP services.

Young person drop-in clinic with allied health professionals 2-8pm on Wednesdays.

Sexual health and contraception.

Positive body image clinic.

Smoking cessation.

Drugs and alcohol misuse.

Young people with chronic disease.

'Young and pregnant' midwives and health visitor.

Minor surgery and joint injections.

Minor injuries and ailments.

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