A SURGERY says plans are in place to expand the services it offers as the population of Malton and Norton grows.

Staff at Derwent Practice have been in talks with officers and councillors from Ryedale District Council to discuss funding to extend the premises in Norton Road.

The practice is being supported by NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Dr David Longworth, a senior Derwent Practice partner, said: “We offer our welcome to all new residents and our intention is to grow as the town grows. Primary care is changing and the challenges facing general practice are complex.

“Our patient population is becoming more elderly with more complex health and social care needs, and there is a growing emphasis on providing care in the community avoid unnecessary hospital admission, where possible and appropriate.

“This requires more community-based specialists to work alongside local GPs and nurses, ideally working from the same premises, so care can be easily co-ordinated and knowledge and experience shared.

“We have been fortunate that Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, which now provides community services in our area, has recently provided our practice with additional expert personnel, including tissue viability clinical nurse specialists and diabetes clinical nurse specialists, to support our patients more effectively.

“At the prompting of our Patient Participation Group, we have also recently invited the Alzheimer’s Society to set up a regular advisory and support clinic in our premises.”

Dr Longworth said these were the types of initiatives they wished to extend further.

“Additionally, we have incorporated new professionals into our team, including an advanced nurse practitioner to help manage minor illness and a paramedic to assist with home visits,” he said.

“Expert practitioners require space to work from. We need to provide more clinical space, particularly as our practice population grows, and it is our awareness of this which prompted us to enter into discussion with the district council.

“We do appreciate that it is not just about infrastructure. Providing the best possible care is also about making best use of the expertise of other highly skilled professionals, such as local pharmacists and opticians, and appropriate use of the local Urgent Treatment Centre that we are fortunate to have Malton Hospital.

“It is also about improved organisation. Under the guidance of NHS England we are looking to set up a Primary Care Network, a collaboration of neighbouring GP practices which will have responsibility for proactively shaping and improving local services.”

Dr Longworth added: “We also appreciate there are other important projects, local schools and necessary improvements to the road system, for example, which have valid claims on infrastructure development funds as Malton and Norton develops, but we do believe that it is appropriate for health to be included in the discussion and we feel this has not sufficiently been the case so far.”

l Letters: Page 12