Harewood Medical Practice to transfer to Heartbeat

Harewood Medical Practice in Catterick, North Yorkshire – currently part of the Leyburn Medical Practice partnership – is to be transferred to Heartbeat from 31 March 2022.

Heartbeat was approached by the partners of Leyburn Medical Practice during the summer and asked to consider a proposal to transfer the contract. Following careful review by the Board and North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) the proposal has now been agreed.

Harewood Medical Practice’s transformation

Harewood Medical Practice has undergone significant change under the management of Leyburn Medical Practice. It has now become financially stable through the establishment of new and clear operational management and leadership for the whole practice and the implementation of a new service delivery model that has delivered improvements and efficiencies in the way the practice works, providing patients with the best service it can deliver.

Patients now have better access to self-care information, wider use of social media channels and easier access to see the right person for their needs, first time. Staff have also benefitted from areas of the practice being reconfigured to support them in their roles and with wellbeing at work.

Why is this transfer happening?

The partners in Leyburn Medical Practice agreed that the transfer is in the long-term interests of both Leyburn Medical Practice and Harewood Medical Practice so that they can better meet the needs of their respective patients. It is part of a long-term plan which sought to transform Harewood Medical Practice whilst maintain the highest clinical standards at Leyburn. It also reflects the Partners dedication to ensuring that as they get closer to retiring age an effective succession plan is in place to safeguard the future of both practices and the needs of their patients. As part of this a new team of clinical staff has been appointed including GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants so that it is no longer reliant on sharing staff with Leyburn Medical Practice.

Harewood Medical Practice is now in a position where it can work towards the vision to become part of a larger integrated care facility proposed for Catterick Garrison in 2024 that would improve health and wellbeing services for the local population. The executive and management team at Heartbeat will be instrumental in supporting and further developing the practice team through this transition.

The growing population of Catterick Garrison is younger than the national average and has its fair share of challenges related to poverty and deprivation. In this setting, Heartbeat will provide oversight and support to the practice team to ensure that services continue to be delivered to a high standard whilst retaining the feel of a family general practice that provides safe and effective care and support for all.

This is an exciting time for the team at Heartbeat to support the performance of the practice team, provide resilience to deliver change and support the strategic aims for the future.

Stephen Brown, Managing Partner, commented on the transfer:
“This is a really positive move for Harewood Medical Practice. In what has been an extremely challenging couple of years for GP practices, staff have worked tirelessly to position Harewood Medical Practice as a responsive, adaptable and accessible practice at the heart of the community in Catterick Garrison. The transfer to Heartbeat provides better support that will allow us to build on the improvements made and take us forward to our future role within the proposed Catterick integrated care facility. It also allows the remaining Partners and staff at Leyburn to focus entirely on meeting the needs of Leyburn Medical Practice patients.”

What does this mean for patients at Leyburn Medical Practice?

The transfer will allow partners and staff at Leyburn to focus totally on the needs of the Leyburn population and put all their resources into meeting those needs. Whilst Leyburn will be once again a ‘stand-alone’ practice with its own clear identity, it will continue to be an active member of the Richmondshire Primary care Network working with neighbouring practices to deliver wider services such as the highly successful COVID vaccination service. Leyburn will also continue to be a shareholder in Heartbeat offering patients the choice of the evening and weekend Better Access clinics.

Will there be staff changes?

Current GP Partners Dr Stephen Wild and Dr Debbie Ashcroft will cease to be Partners in Leyburn Medical Practice and will transfer with the contract alongside all staff currently working at the practice and will be employed directly through Heartbeat. Managing Partner, Stephen Brown, will be resigning from the Leyburn Medical Practice Partnership and will be working for Heartbeat on a full-time basis as Director of Finance and Strategy, however he will continue to provide financial and management support to Leyburn Medical Practice to provide continuity.

About Heartbeat

Heartbeat’s mission is to improve health. We meet everyday health and wellbeing needs by supporting the communities we serve with innovation and high-quality services and delivery.

Heartbeat is uniquely positioned to bring our GP practices and other local services together. We help them to deliver safe, effective care and a good experience for patients. We do this by supporting delivery and exploring opportunities to make the right things happen at the right time, to meet the needs of local people.

As Heartbeat, we are stronger and more resilient together.

FAQs for patients

No. Both practices will continue to operate in the same way for patients. Day-to-day running of the practices is unaffected. Each practice now has its own dedicated Practice Manager.

Leyburn has continued to invest in clinical staffing as part of its longer-term planning. Dr Lucy Fox joined the Practice two years ago as a salaried GP and since April 2021 has been a GP Partner. Over the last nine months we have appointed two additional GPs, Dr Sinead Bell and Dr Monica Jamieson, and we are currently seeking to recruit a further GP to join us in 2022. Two of our Practice Nurses (Debra Smith and Amy Kerr) who have been working at both practices are now based solely at Leyburn following the appointment of a new nursing team at Harewood. We believe that this puts us in a very strong position to better meet the needs of our patients well into the future.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our communications partner by email to heartbeat@standoutmedia.co.uk