In some Family Hubs, GPs hold surgeries within the Family Hub on a regular basis. Denise Beevers, Locality Service Manager at Doncaster Council, explains how GP outreach works.
‘In Doncaster, GP outreach is a relatively new initiative. We piloted it in the south, in Denaby and Conisbrough Family Hub, and it was very successful, so we rolled it out in two Family Hubs… until the pandemic stopped it. When things get back to normal, this is something we’d definitely like to get going again. The GPs certainly welcomed it because it gave them the opportunity to meet families in a more friendly, welcoming and informal environment.
‘The GP outreach sessions run on a Friday afternoon and families can book an appointment either with our staff in the Family Hub or via the GP receptionist so it’s a very accessible service. Obviously, the GPs are limited in what they can do clinically in the Family Hub setting but I think they believe the advantages of meeting with families in the Family Hub setting make that compromise worthwhile. It definitely enables GPs to engage with families who can be more difficult to reach.
‘We wondered if the success of GP outreach was due to the location. One of the Family Hubs, where we hold GP outreach, is literally opposite the GP surgery. In that case, its appeal can’t be about the location, it must be about the ambience. The other Family Hub is situated in one of our most disadvantaged housing estates, and next to the school, so I think that setting’s success is definitely about convenience as well as atmosphere.’