About Sunderland GP Alliance

Formed in 2015, Sunderland GP Alliance is an organisation owned by the GP Practices of Sunderland, it exists to help GPs work collaboratively for the benefit of patients and staff.

All GP practices in Sunderland are members of the organisation. The Alliance works on a not-for-profit basis, ensuring any surplus is reinvested back into better services for patients.

Organisations such as ours help General Practice respond to the changing needs of the health system. Many of the services we provide cannot be delivered by individual GP surgeries. Our COVID vaccination programme, our community integrated team support and our enhanced access service are all good examples of this; In the enhanced access service only by working together with all the practices can we offer patients the convenience of appointments with members of the GP team on weekday evenings and during the day on weekends in locations across the city within their neighbourhoods. This is often referred to as federated working.

Federations also help develop system solutions by articulating a shared view across multiple practices. Sunderland GP Alliance is an essential member of the All Together Better Alliance, Sunderland’s collaboration delivering integrated and sustainable services in the out-of-hospital care sector, and has worked with a range of system partners on reform within urgent care, the interface with the Emergency Department, alignment of General Practice with care homes, and the Recovery at Home service that provides step-up and step-down care.

We are governed by an elected Board of Directors, made up of GPs, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers all currently working at surgeries within the city. Between them, they have a vast amount of experience about how best to look after patients, and how to work with other parts of the NHS, such as the local hospital, to create integrated services that make sure patients receive the best care possible. The Board also considers it essential that the views of service users are built into any service changes, and there is a range of ways in which patients can make their views heard such as the Patient Participation Groups in our practices or via our comments feedback form.


Click here to read our Three-Year Strategy 2023 – 2026 

Sunderland GP Alliance - Helping GPs work collaboratively for the benefit of patients and staff

What We Do

The Alliance operates core General Practice services from three practices within the city to around 25,000 patients, including the provision of services to a small number of people within the Special Allocation Service.

Currently, we manage the delivery of the COVID vaccination programme on behalf of the Sunderland Primary Care Networks working with practices and in local vaccination centres to deliver the programme of initial and booster vaccinations. This includes ensuring provision to care home residents, housebound residents and within community locations to ensure people who find it hard to access health services get a chance to have a COVID vaccination.

The Sunderland Enhanced Access Service (SEAS) delivers additional appointments, at times that are convenient to patients outside of normal working hours. GPs, nurses and HCAs work provide both same-day and routine appointments, nurse clinics such as chronic disease management and smears and health care assistant health checks and blood tests.

We also provide Clinical Pharmacy services via a subcontract, on behalf of our Primary Care Networks across the city, whilst our Ambulatory ECG service provides patient access to 24-hour to 7 day ECG monitors from a number of citywide hubs.

Our social prescribing service includes health and wellbeing coaches, care coordinators and social prescribers who support patients across the city with non medical needs to improve their wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.

The Alliance supports a number of other services by arranging for clinical input, including that of GPs, into Multi-Disciplinary teams operating from every practice in the city, two in-patient mental health units in Sunderland – Hopewood Park and Monkwearmouth Hospital, and the Recovery at Home Service a step-up and step-down facility designed to prevent avoidable hospital admissions.