Professor Mike Holmes, of primary care services provider Nimbuscare, says in his latest Press column that a new community care centre in York shows what can be achieved by a community working together.


"Seeing our new Acomb Garth Community Care Centre come alive with the first patients coming through the front door has made us very proud of what can be achieved by a community working together.

This has been our bold vision for some time and this year it has become a reality with the support of so many people in the community.

Many of the new services being launched at our Acomb Garth and Askham Bar centres have been designed and developed in partnership with other care provider partners, the local authority, the voluntary sector and local commissioners.

A number of them are aimed at aiding York’s recovery from the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and others are about taking the pressure off our GP Practices and hospital services.

It’s all been made possible by collaboration. As a result of this joint approach, as a city, we’ve been incredibly well placed to influence change.

In fact, our people are contributing to local, regional and national conversations about the future of healthcare provision, presenting our work on a national and even international stage in order to share our learning with others to support General Practice and the wider healthcare system.

Our innovative approach to designing and delivering services is not the only thing sets us apart, our finance model is very clear.

Nimbuscare is a not-for-profit organisation, which means that we’re able to invest any surplus that we make back into the communities that we serve.

We do this by investing back into our member GP practices to help them build resilience, as well as enhancing their infrastructure and the wellbeing of their employees and patients.

We also invest in the community through our new charitable arm, the Nimbuscare Community Fund and we’ve been really impressed by the number and quality of the grant applications that we’ve received.

This collaborative mindset is going to be so important in the future and it feels like we’re setting an example in York.

This week we’ve welcomed our new General Manager Lucy Hakings who has joined our team to lead some of this work.

We’re taking a phased approach to launching lots of exciting new services. Our Acomb Community Care Centre has welcomed patients coming for evening and weekend appointments as part of the City’s Improving Access scheme.

We’re also looking forward to starting a new NHS fertility clinic, dietetic clinics and wound care clinics in the near future.

Our MSK Pain management service, which was running as a pilot service at Askham Bar, will move to Acomb as a permanent feature which is great news, in September.

We’re really pleased to be supporting GP Practices by providing extra clinical rooms for their patients.

Other new services which we are working on are things like a menopause clinic which I know many people are keen to begin in York, drop in sessions for people with dementia and citizens advice support.

As we continue to plan our Covid and Flu vaccination programme which is likely to start in September, we are pleased to now have a new mobile vaccination van which our teams will take out to the community.

This will help us deliver vital vaccinations to people who can’t come to the centre.

There is so much going on and I want to thank the team who have been holding these conversations, setting up the projects and making it all come alive.

There is change and challenge in all parts of the system right now but we are moving towards the challenge collaboratively and trying to do what we can for the population."