Co-designing integrated and sustainable primary care, to both meet the needs of the community, and the demands and changes in the health and care system.

The Fuller Stock Take (2022) highlighted the need to reform and integrate primary care, to improve outcomes for both our communities, and for those delivering health and social care.

The report called for locally led, nationally enabled change, and a recognition that one size does not fit all.

Our approach

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey Sussex (ARC KSS)’s own priority setting exercise in 2021, asking local communities what their needs were in terms of areas to focus research and service development.

Growing Health Together

Pioneered in one primary care network (PCN) by Dr Gillian Orrow with colleagues Katherine Saunders and Dr Michael Bosch, Growing Health Together (GHT) now extends across five PCNs in Surrey. GHT gives clinicians protected time to work with local citizens to create evidence-based solutions for their own communities, promoting health and wellbeing, and meeting specific local needs.

Surrey Heartlands ICS invited GHT to assist groups of PCNs, to collaborate with community members and local organisations to improve health and prevent disease across East Surrey.

The original conversations around this project took place as a result of an ARC funding call around care. We have supported the project to secure evaluation funding, considering the implementation and target audience from the outset. This work was supported by our partners at Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN).

Together, we established a wrap-around project team, including academics and NHS colleagues, local authorities, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and public health and service users.

Next steps 

The project team are currently ‘mapping’ the GHT ecosystem to better understand who it involves, their individual, organisational involvement and the relationships between them. Once completed the study hopes through evaluation to capture the ‘active ingredients’ of GHT- What, works for whom in what context and why?

Once completed it is hoped the learning framework can be piloted in other PCNs across the region and beyond. Evidencing a model of primary care delivery that offers benefits for people, workforce and communities. A model in which we grow healthier together.

‘We are thrilled that funding has been secured for a comprehensive evaluation of Growing Health Together’s work in East Surrey. This will be invaluable in isolating the ‘active ingredients’ that have enabled health creation to shift from radical idea to embedded practice within our NHS, improving health outcomes for local people.’

Dr Gillian Orrow

GP and Director of Growing Health Together

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