11. Team Winsford
Winsford, one of the most deprived areas in the country, has improved population outcomes with a town-based approach to health and wellbeing. When it applied to become a primary care home rapid test site, it had the worst one-year survival rates for cancer in the country. As a primary care home with a population size of 33,000, the group was able to focus on the whole town to improve both population health and clinical outcomes. It also gave practices the opportunity to be at the heart of service redesign shaping the priorities and changes needed.
How things are changing
The PCH brought together everyone involved in the health and wellbeing of people in the Cheshire town of Winsford, where there are significant health inequalities, under the banner “Team Winsford”. During the town’s Wellbeing Week in February 2017, GPs, community staff and members of local voluntary organisations manned a stand promoting good lung health as part of the PCH’s drive to improve cancer outcomes, with particular emphasis on lung cancer. This resulted in many people getting advice on respiratory health and being signposted to services including a new PCH led smoking cessation service and direct access to chest X-rays in the local hospital.
Five GPs came forward to be clinical champions in areas of special interest to them – diabetes, heart failure, cancer, dermatology and musculoskeletal conditions – with the aim of increasing access to local services and improving outcomes. A Winsford GP recently led the design and implementation of a primary care deep vein thrombosis service.
After identifying a need to focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, the PCH invested some money into a mental health and wellbeing support programme for teenagers and co-funded a primary school based exercise initiative. The local council plans to set up a Health Hub in one of its under used buildings which people can use as a one stop centre for accessing both council and health and wellbeing services. Winsford no longer has the lowest one-year cancer survival rates in the country and while this is not directly attributable to the PCH, it was the vehicle that enabled the focus to be placed on respiratory health, demonstrating that improving cancer outcomes is one of Winsford’s key priorities.
The PCH model has now been adopted in four neighbouring urban areas, bringing the benefit of local focus to all 280,000 people living in Central Cheshire.
Five practices, Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group, stakeholders and partners through the Connecting Care Provider board.