Swallowfield Medical Practice is a semi-rural GMS dispensing practice situated just outside Reading in a delightful village on the Berkshire/Hampshire border, about 2 miles south of M4 Junction 11. Swallowfield has very good links to the M3, M4 and M40, also to railways, Heathrow and Gatwick.
The main surgery at Swallowfield is purpose built (opened in 1990 and recently extended), and it comprises all the usual facilities to a very high standard. We currently have 4 full time partners and 2 part time salaried GPs. We operate a pooled list of approximately 12,500 and growing and is spread over a 25 square mile area. To make the practice more accessible for patients we also have 2 branch surgeries in the nearby villages of Shinfield and Arborfield. The practice is equipped to a high standard including self-reporting ECG machine, 24hr cardiac monitors, 24hr blood pressure monitors, defibrillator, spirometer, nebulisers, audiometer, centrifuge and tropical fish tank!
We have a good mix of patients from families with children, young people and adults right through to elderly patients who live at home or in one of our local residential or nursing homes. We also have learning difficulty homes within our boundary. We provide maternity services to about 140 patients each year and we also have a few private patients.
We provide a range of in house services including family planning, cardiovascular screening, a smoking cessation clinic, a drugs and alcohol service, talking therapies and ultrasound clinics. We also host diabetic eye screening and breast screening three yearly.
Our clinical computer system is Vision v3 LAN, with electronic pathology ordering/results, discharge letters and OOH reports, GP2GP record transfers and electronic discussional referrals. We try to maximise the use of hot-keys and templates. All incoming mail is scanned and workflowed and our administration team optimise workflow of this mail – we are very proud of our high quality records. We consistently achieve high QOF points and provide a wide range of Enhanced Services. We repeatedly score well above both national and local averages in the national Patient Survey.
We are committed to providing high quality patient care and are always looking for ways to improve our services. Teamwork is very important to us and communication is key. We hold monthly practice meetings with clinical staff to ensure good communication and to help keep abreast of the continually changing NHS landscape. The practice has a reputation for being forward thinking and well organised.
The CCG currently provides medical cover for four half days of protected learning per annum and there are regular quarterly in-house education and training sessions for the whole practice.
The Royal Berkshire Hospital NHSFT provides pathology and x-ray services and are the main recipients of our NHS referrals. We also routinely refer to the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital and the local independent sector treatment centres. We participate in Choose and Book. Both Reading and Basingstoke have good postgraduate facilities.
Patient involvement and feedback is encouraged. We were one of the first practices in the CCG to form a Patient Participation Group and they have played an active role in the development of the practice and work in collaboration with the management team to produce our quarterly newsletter for patients.
Our partners all have interests outside of the practice which ensures we are at the forefront of what is happening in primary care locally. Dr Beacham, our senior partner, has been a GP in Swallowfield for 14 years and is a Berkshire West CCG Board Member. He is also the Medicines Management Lead GP for West Berkshire. Dr Prabhakar is the cardiology lead for the CCG. Dr Dugmore provides regular sessions at a local hospice and Dr Ansari is the lead trainer at the Practice. All the Partners are full time – 8 sessions.
In addition to the full time Practice Manager and part time Assistant Manager, there is a full time Dispensary Manager and approx 38 (mainly part time) staff, including 1 full time Acute Illness nurse, 3 other Practice Nurses 1 of whom also holds acute illness clinics, 3 Health Care Assistants and 2 Phlebotomists. The staff are hard working and enjoy being part of a dynamic and successful team.
As a training practice our aim is to give registrars an introduction to the world of general practice and encourage them to develop and take on the GP role within the Practice. We value their input and ideas and their contribution to the work of the practice. We aim to provide support and training in the transition from ST doctor to fully independent general practitioner. Training plans and curricula are developed individually between the trainer and registrar. There is plenty of opportunity to learn from various members of the team as well as through individual study.