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We are a partnership of NHS, councils, and voluntary sector organisations, working together to improve health and care in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington.  

Home E Featured News E Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, visits NCL

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, visits NCL

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, impressed by ‘fantastic practice’ in North Central London ICS

Three men standing in a hospital setting

Hot on the heels of the Secretary of State’s and NHS CEO, Amanda Pritchard’s visit, we’ve been delighted to host Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. Matthew came to NCL to hear first-hand from front line services and the ICB about innovations and examples of good practice that could help tackle some of the big challenges facing the NHS. Accompanied by Phill Wells, Acting NCL Integrated Care Board CEO, he joined a visit by Sarah McDonnell-Davies, Executive Director of Place and Primary Care and Becky Kingsnorth, Assistant Director – Primary Care Strategy and Change, to Bloomsbury Surgery in south Camden.

GP Partner and Central Camden PCN Clinical Director, Dr Ammara Hughes, and her team did an excellent job of demonstrating the work they are doing to improve access, experience and outcomes for local residents and take the pressure off our local hospitals. The practice’s Anticipatory Care Team, made up of a GP and supporting roles, including a paramedic, a pharmacist and soon a care coordinator, held a demonstration of an MDT case review. This threw up examples of where integration between not only primary and secondary care, but also primary care and adult social care and voluntary groups are key. It also made it clear the role our neighbourhood hubs and borough partnerships could play in addressing the key interdependences between health, care and critically housing.

This was followed presentation by Raj Gill, a Physician Associate Partner at the surgery, about the startling range of out-of-hospital care the surgery provides: from Physical Activity and Nutritional Therapy programmes to Asthma, Rectal Pathology, and Microsuction clinics. All these services had been instigated to meet gaps in provision or long waiting lists and had in many cases avoided hospital attendance, reduced DNAs, and improved both waiting times and patient experience.

“I’m genuinely impressed by the evidence on the effectiveness of the different interventions Bloomsbury Surgery showcased and convinced of the need to deliver more in primary and community settings to address the challenges the NHS faces and improve patient experience.”

We then moved to Wood Green Community Diagnostic Centre which opened in Autumn 2022 in a purpose-built ‘one-stop shop’ healthcare space in The Mall shopping centre in the heart of Haringey. It has already provided approximately 110,000 tests since then and hosts an MRI machine, a CT machine, an X-ray room, two ultrasound rooms, an ophthalmology service and blood testing. Mustafa Hassan, CDC General Manager and Jonathan Gardner, Chief Strategy, Digital and Improvement Officer, Whittington Health, led the tour and described how this huge cutting edge equipment was craned in to the lower ground floor of the shopping centre, a gleaming facility built in what was until recently a disused car park.


Matthew Taylor looking at a large NHS screen in a shopping centre

The CDC provides the first MRI and CT testing capacity in Haringey. It provides easy and equitable access to diagnostic tests by transforming the traditional diagnostic pathway model and offering innovative features such as straight to test GP direct access, fast guidance pathways, the latest imaging technology, and coordinated single appointments.

CDCs in NCL have had a notable effect on addressing inequalities of access, particularly at the Wood Green CDC which is close to NCL’s most deprived communities. 75% of patients seen here come from the 40% most deprived communities. The CDC even provides some walk-in capacity to be more accessible to those on zero hours contracts or unpredictable work patterns. It is open six extended days a week and looking into the possibility of opening on Sundays too.

Richard Dale, Executive Director of Performance and Transformation, NCL ICB, discussed future ambitions for the CDC with Matthew, including how CDCs can further improve cancer diagnosis in communities, again to help address access and capacity issues in the system.

CDCs have also made improvements in GP experience of direct access by engaging with GPs, providing easy access to waiting and turnaround times, tailored patient communications, flexible appointment booking systems, and ownership of referrals for further diagnostics and treatment. Wood Green Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) beat strong competition from nine other innovative healthcare projects around the UK to take home the ‘Best Consultancy Partnership within the NHS’ award at the 2023 Health Service Journal Partnership Awards.

The project to create Wood Green CDC was led by North Central London Integrated Care Board and includes close collaboration with and between Whittington Health NHS Trust and Capital and Regional, a UK property investment trust that specialises in community shopping centres.

“The innovative thinking underpinning this shopping centre-based CDC, its ability to deliver so much outside a hospital setting, and the dedication of the allied health professionals and radiographers who staff it to going above and beyond to provide safe diagnostic care in the community are a prime example of the fantastic work which is going to help improve outcomes for patients and get the NHS back on track.”