HEALTH services at Haslemere Hospital will soon be provided by a pioneering partnership between Royal Surrey County Hospital and a number of GP practices.

RSCH and ProCare, a federation of 18 GP practices, successfully bid for the adult community services contract and will take over from current provider Virgin Care on March 31.

The contract, which is worth £13.8million annually, will run for nine years. The current Virgin Care staff members, who number more than 260, will be transferred under an agreement protecting terms and conditions of employment.

It is the first time an acute trust has joined forces with a GP federation to provide adult community services in this way and it is hoped it will be an opportunity to develop “new, exciting models of care within community services”.

The 16 rehabilitation beds at Haslemere Hospital and its minor injuries unit come under adult community health services, as does Milford Hospital’s bed, district nursing and community matron services, and community rehabilitation teams, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, diabetes and respiratory specialist nurses, podiatry and lymphoedema teams.

A ProCare spokesman said: “Haslemere and Milford Community Hospitals will continue to provide rehabilitation care to patients admitted into hospital.

“The minor injuries service will not be affected by the transfer of organisation and the out-patient services (medical and therapy) will continue as before.

“This partnership brings together the three main components of healthcare delivery for Guildford and Waverley to provide joined up care for the population.

“This will help us to produce seamless patient care which will be co-ordinated by a single control centre and informed by a single computerised care record.

“Procare believes by integrating care in this way it will enhance the care that is offered to our population.

“District nurses and community matrons currently work from a different computer system and location from the GP practice, whose patients they are caring for.

“We intend to bring the teams together and integrate the clinical notes that are written. This will reduce duplication and enhance the joint care of complex or frail patients.

“Currently physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the community are employed separately from those based in the hospital, which means the same patient may receive the same assessment in both locations during a discharge with minimal handover of information.

“We will bring these teams together to improve the flow of information as well as enabling them work as one team which can work more efficiently.

“Patients transferring from RSCH to a community hospital need to have all of the admission information rewritten upon arrival upon the new ward.

“By having care provided by the same organisation in multiple locations it will allow us to streamline the administrative aspects of caring for patients and allow us to concentrate more time with the patient.”

Haslemere Hospital League of Friends (LoF) told The Herald it was looking forward to working with the new providers “to maintain and enhance” the hospital’s clinical services.

In the last few months, the LoF has spent more than £10,000 on providing 20 bed tables, a bench for outpatients, a new plinth for podiatry, equipment for providing female health physiotherapy services, and wifi and Kindles for the ward.

The RSCH is also due to install new x-ray equipment to replace the equipment provided by LoF 18 years ago.