GP’s column: Dr Waseem Mohi on a year at the helm of Barking and Dagenham CCG

Dr Waseem Mohi

Dr Waseem Mohi - Credit: Archant

My GP colleagues and staff at Barking and Dagenham clinical commissioning group (CCG) hit a major milestone this year as the organisation reached its first birthday as an official body.

We knew from the start we were in the most difficult local health system in the country, and it is only by working together with all our partners we will meet the challenges we face.

GPs in Barking and Dagenham – with their colleagues in Havering and Redbridge, local authorities and patients – have worked together to improve maternity services, introduce seven-day working, offer more urgent GP appointments (we’ve made an extra 25,000 available in Barking and Dagenham and have just won extra funding from the prime minister to improve care further), and put more care into the community by joining up services.

The official opening of Barking Community Hospital, which took place in the summer, is a good example of the kind of joined-up working we want to see more of.

All local providers of health services work out of that site now. This means so many services that were previously only available in specialist hospitals now have a base closer to people’s homes.

We have also introduced community treatment teams that bring together doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists who offer care at home so patients can avoid a stressful visit to A&E.

Working alongside these teams is our intensive rehab service. Again, this brings together health and social services so those patients who do need to go to hospital get support at home to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

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The latest figures show we are starting to make a difference. Compared with last year, fewer people need treatment in hospital, there are fewer delays of transfer of care between hospitals and fewer people who do go to A&E now need to stay in hospital.

We know we’ve only just started and a big challenge remains but, equally, we are determined to carry on doing what’s best for patients – working together so people get the care they need in the right place at the right time.