Why are we doing this?

It is much more than just stabilising practices:
·         It is more difficult to recruit GPs to remote areas - we have to compete with the cities and large towns. Our model of providing primary care is already proving attractive to other doctors and we believe that it will help to recruit more to Cumbria.
·         It will improve patient access to the right primary care specialist, which in turn will improve the whole experience for our patients.
·         Staff will be given the opportunity to gain more experience across different areas. There will be change but we believe it will be positive change for our team.

Which organisations are involved?

  • GP Practices

  • Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust

  • North Cumbria University Hospitals

  • Cumbria Health On Call (CHOC)

  • North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

  • UCLAN School of Medicine

  • Staff (through staff representatives)

  • Patients (through Patient Participation Groups)

  • Voluntary sector (though links with existing voluntary/charity networks)

What does not for profit mean?

Any surplus made by North Cumbria Primary Care from their management of the NHS contract will be reinvested into supporting patient care. No money will go into the profits of private companies, nor will money leave Cumbria.  North Cumbria Primary Care is part of the local NHS family.

Does this mean getting an appointment will take longer

No, an NCPC aim is to reduce waiting times for appointments. Other GPs are showing an interest in this new model of primary care so we firmly believe we will be able to recruit more GPs and hold on to the experienced GPs we already have.  We will extend the use of specialist nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and others specialist practitioners. We will also be able to rely on the wider North Cumbria Primary Care team to cover emergency absences.  In this way we believe we will be able to offer appointments more quickly.

Will I be asked to see a nurse or other health care provider instead of my doctor?

A doctor isn’t always the best person to treat some problems. Our nursing teams are highly skilled and experienced professionals along with other specialist practitioners, such as pharmacists and physiotherapists, already make valued contributions to the services at your practice; these specialist practitioners are experts in their field and avoid you having to wait to see a GP and being referred on.

In future we will have access to more primary care specialists, allowing you to access the right treatment with the right person more quickly. When you do need to talk to a doctor we are aiming that you will be able to get an appointment quickly as there will be less pressure on their time and this system should also allow us to recruit more younger doctors to replace our current team when they retire.

Will I still be able to see my usual GP?

Yes, your GP will continue to be based in your local surgery so will be regularly available.

How will this help recruit and retain GPs?

  • Doctors won’t have the expense of buying into a practice.

  • They won’t need to be business managers.

  • They will have more opportunities to work flexibly and to practice specialities. 

  • They will be able to work in general practice and in the hospital.


Voreda House, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QQ