A GP practice in Lancashire was awarded a £40K grant to collect and share memories of healthcare from the last 70 years or more.
Lostock Hall Medical Centre in Preston was the successful bidder of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, through which it will explore the local history of healthcare.
On Saturday 21 July, practice manager David Pearson will be launching the Doctor Doctor project, through which his practice will collect patient’s stories and artefacts from the past.
He told Management in Practice that this project will help them retain and attract patients in the move to the new site (Dardsley House) a few miles away from their current practice.
The grant in details
Mr Pearson specified that the money will be used to fund the work of a project co-ordinator, launch the event, and set up a display in the future medical centre.
An HLF spokesperson said: ‘This project stood out because it is rare for a medical practice to look beyond their immediate services and consider their place in the local community and the important part of local history that they have played.
‘What we also liked was that they will share the results of their project with the national project we have funded on the NHS at 70 being led by Manchester University.’
The practice is hoping to showcase the best stories and artefacts in a display at Dardsley House.
The event will launch on Saturday and patients will be given the opportunity to have a tour of the new site of the practice and take part in a raffle, while the practice’s PPG will be there to serve tea and coffee.
A way to retain patients and staff
He said: ‘After we sought our patients’ views on the move to the new site, it became apparent that there was a lot of community interest in Dardsley House. A hidden history started to emerge: some older patients remembered going there as patients in the 1940s when it was a doctor’s house.
‘Others told us that they used to work there when it was the Prescription Pricing Authority [abolished in 2006].
Mr Pearsons added: ‘Building on this community connection to the building will help us retain patients and attract more patients in a competitive market. There are a range of housing developments planned in the area.’
Mr Pearson also hopes that the project will help them raise the practice’s visibility, which under principal GP Dr Ewa Craven’s vision they aim to transform into a community centre.
He added: ‘We are struggling to recruit GPs and we think that moving to a better building and offering different types of services will make our practice a more attractive workplace.’
The best stories and artefacts that the practice will collect with this project will be shared with the University of Manchester, which is working on an NHS at 70 project also funded by the HLF.