Chief executive of east London-wide healthcare organisation vows to continue finding new ways to ‘provide high quality healthcare’

PELC's chief executive Brian Jones. Picture: PELC

PELC's chief executive Brian Jones. Picture: PELC - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of a healthcare organisation providing GPs and other services across east London has promised he will continue searching for innovative new ways to meet the challenges the area faces.

The Partnership of East London Co-operatives (Pelc) is a non-profit social enterprise which aims "to create a health system that provides patient-focused and centred, culturally competent, clinically excellent and cost-effective care with exceptional outcomes and patient satisfaction".

There are no shareholders, and it is a member-based organisation with membership drawn from GPs and health professionals, patient representatives and staff.

All profits made by the group are reinvested into healthcare.

Operating across east London and west Essex, Pelc provides urgent care, NHS 111 calls, GP out of hours services and clinical assessments to more than two million people.

It covers the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Newham and Tower Hamlets, and is regularly employed by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) of those boroughs to provide the healthcare services mentioned previously.

The organisation has been based in Ilford Hill, Redbridge for a number of years, but earlier this month moved its headquarters to Woodford Green.

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Pelc also made the news recently when it was awarded the contract to provide healthcare for inmates at Chelmsford Prison.

That move, chief executive Brian Jones told us, was part of an innovative new approach designed to appeal to healthcare professionals from all walks of life.

He said: "We want to be innovative in how we go about providing the healthcare that east London needs.

"Part of that is the portfolio approach we are developing now. We want GPs and doctors who come on board to be really excited about the variety of what we can offer them.

"Across east London areas are facing the same challenge, which is that we have a generation of experienced GPs approaching retirement.

"To be able to provide healthcare in prisons is an experience that some younger GPs will be really excited by and we hope it will attract more of them in the future."

And Brian is very clear about what he thinks Pelc offers the current healthcare system as opposed to other large corporations.

He said: "We are a social enterprise with a real stripped back structure that means all of us are more accountable.

"We don't face the same challenges that some of the bigger hospital trusts in London face, but we do all want to provide high quality healthcare."

Brian also praised a "culture change" at Pelc since the Emergency Urgent Care Centre it runs at King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, was placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) back in August 2018.

But after a follow-up visit, CQC inspectors praised the organisation's rapid response to the negative report, and the EUCC was taken out of special measures in May 2019.

On their second visit, inspectors noted: "A strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation, leadership to support the delivery of high-quality care and improvements to the physical layout to make it more conducive to maintaining patients' privacy."

Speaking after that report was published, Brian heaped praise on all involved.

He said: "We are incredibly proud of our staff and the services we provide and the CQC findings are testament to the continued determination to provide the best possible care for patients.

"This is an incredible turnaround by the team achieved within the space of six short months."

But he added: "We will not rest here - we continue to work hard across all our services to provide high quality, responsive and personalised care for our patients."

As a whole, Pelc was last inspected in March 2017 and is currently rated Good by the CQC, which praises its "open and transparent approach to safety" and "visible leadership with an emphasis on continuous improvement and development of the service".