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Theresa May hails ‘fantastic’ work of pioneering Kentish Town health centre

Prime Minister and Health Secretary announce health investment during visit to James Wigg Practice

29 November, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Theresa May at the James Wigg Practice, picture supplied by Downing Street

THE Prime Minister praised “the example set by the James Wigg Practice” during a flying visit to the health centre on Thursday.

Theresa May spoke to GPs and nurses at the surgery in Kentish Town Health Centre where NHS patients can access on-site psychology, psychiatry services, breast and ultrasound scanning.

At the centre a charity runs art therapy, aromatherapy, gardening, a dance class for people with Parkinson’s disease, a choir, drawing groups for patients with aphasia, art exhibitions, bicycle maintenance workshops, multilingual baby sing­along sessions and group counselling for the elderly.

The health centre model – a vision of the NHS when it was conceived in 1948 – was the future of the health service, said Mrs May, who announced a “major boost in funding for community healthcare”.

In a statement, she said: “The investment I’ve announced for primary and community healthcare will be at the heart of our long-term plan for the NHS and allow health teams across England to follow the example set by the James Wigg Practice and their partners across Camden.”

The supplied statement added: “The centre is also doing a fantastic job working alongside community services to make sure patients get the right care in the setting that best suits their needs, helping to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions – which is better for people in Camden and for our NHS too.”

The new package of funding announced by the PM is aimed at caring for people outside hospitals and in the home or neighbourhood health centres.

In another supplied statement, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “The Kentish Town Health Centre is a great example of how joined-up healthcare in the community is keeping residents healthy and taking pressure off local services. I’m determined to see similar schemes across the country.”

He said the centre’s “world-class facilities” meant patients were avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital. James Wigg managing partner Dr Jonathan Levy said: “The govern­ment has used the visit to promote this model of integrated care and our local practice as an example of how general practices of the future should provide care to our com­munities.”

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