We would like to thank the Financial Times  for their piece and focus on Dr Zalan Alam, and The Village Medical Centre  as "a model" for the NHS.

"In a medical profession besieged by ever-increasing workloads, staff shortages and burnout, Dr Zalan Alam embodies the kind of quiet dedication to patient welfare that forms the bedrock of Britain’s National Health Service. But it is a sign of the gravity of the situation that even this can-do GP — who has transformed a once failing practice in the Pennines into a model of community care — is no longer certain that the NHS will emerge intact from one of the worst funding crunches in its 69-year history.

“I think we’re coming to a crossroads,” says Dr Alam, speaking in his consulting room in the Village Medical Centre in the market town of Littleborough, which commands impressive views of a rugged, sheep-dotted escarpment. “I’m not sure that the NHS will survive the way things are going, but I do think that it should survive.” In ordinary circumstances, the perils facing the NHS — whose 1.5m staff make up almost 5 per cent of the country’s workforce — might be expected to top the national agenda. But with prime minister Theresa May’s weak and divided government consumed by Brexit, and MPs and the media transfixed by daily dramas unfolding in Westminster, healthcare professionals are struggling to make their warnings heard.

Richard Vautrey, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, says many doctors fear the NHS is now under so much pressure that a spike in flu cases this winter could swamp surgeries and hospitals like never before. “We have a healthcare system that is currently stretched to breaking point, and in some areas has broken already,” Dr Vautrey says. “It simply doesn’t have the spare capacity to be able to respond to a major influenza outbreak without seriously impacting other areas of our work.”

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"Dr Alam has since focused on boosting services for Littleborough’s growing numbers of frail, elderly patients by increasing consultation times and recruiting a highly skilled pharmacist and nurse practitioner. He has also cemented links with a new intermediate care service in Rochdale designed to reduce hospital admissions for older people.

He takes particular pride in his team’s idea to set up a stand at Littleborough’s annual “rushbearing” festival — a popular summer fair. Locals queued for blood pressure checks, which identified people who might need follow-up appointments.

“Healthcare at its core has to be about relationships,” says Dr Alam. “I hope the direction we’re going here is an example for the future — where you have a community engaging with a practice and a practice engaging with the community.” 

This is the kind of philosophy that the NHS’s Mr Stevens wants to nurture."

 

We are extremely proud of the work being done at The Village Medical Centre by the whole team, and will continue to work to create a healthy, happy environment for our patients.

 

To read the full article click here: http://ow.ly/J0XV30gIpiL