Primary Care

In early 2015, Tower Hamlets CCG took on responsibility for commissioning GP services, which were previously commissioned by NHS England. This has allowed the CCG to have more say in the development and delivery of local services.

Some of the key projects we are working on locally include:

  • Making Tower Hamlets the best place to work, and the best place to receive care: Enabling quality improvement in practice (EQUIP) programme.

    The world of General Practice is currently under significant pressure. Across the board budgets are being cut, and resources constrained. ‘On top of this, practices face a rapidly growing population, thus in turn increasing demand for GP services. The growing population has different health needs from those of the past, forcing practices to re-evaluate the efficacy of their business models and clinical processes. As a result of these challenges, practice staff are under unprecedented levels of stress, leading to recruitment and retention challenges.

    Our response to these conditions is to roll up our sleeves, and address these issues head on. The EQUIP programme is designed to do just that, by providing practice staff with the tools to create meaningful and lasting change. This is done by allowing practices to work on what matters most to them through a tried and tested Quality Improvement methodology. By doing this, we hope to improve the lives of staff and develop a culture within practices that values bottom-up change and continuous improvement. We also hope that we will make General Practice resilient and effectively able to manage current challenges and variation, and lead change so it can deliver even better care to patients in the future’.

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  • Building resilience in general practice: A successful pilot has taken place in a number of local GP practices, empowering them to make operational changes that deliver improved quality of care for patients. This has helped to free up more GP time to spend with patients and make more primary care appointments available for local people. This programme will be expanded further in 2017/18.
  • Delivering the GP Forward View: In April last year NHS England published the GP Forward View, committing additional funding to support GP services across England. So far, we have used this financial support in Tower Hamlets to deliver:

    • More appointments at evenings and weekends, making it easier for local people to see a GP
    • Support for GPs to increase the number of patients using online services
    • Additional training for receptionist and clerical staff

    As this work continues, we will be supporting our GPs to utilise online consultations, supporting and mentoring our practice managers and recruiting and training clinical pharmacists to work within GP practices.

  • Primary care patient engagement: In 2016/17 we held a number of successful workshops with local residents, where we asked for your views on a number of areas. This included the process for registering with a GP, how services are accessed and how consistent GP services are across the borough. The feedback from these sessions will be vital in commissioning services in the future.


For more information or to give feedback on any of the information on this page, please email us.

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