9 February 2015 New Urgent Care Weekend GP Service in Rushcliffe
Patients in Rushcliffe who need to see a gp for urgent health care needs at weekends are to benefit from a new pilot service.
Launched in January, the new service operates out of Gamston Medical Centre on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 8.30am and 12.30pm. It is for patients with urgent health care needs who have been assessed over the phone and told they need a same-day gp appointment. It is operated by gps, nurses and receptionists from across the twelve general practices in Rushcliffe.
To access the service, patients with urgent health care needs must first call the NHS 111 helpline. Eligible patients will then be booked into the service, on the same day, following a triage by the out-of-hours clinicians at Nottingham Emergency Medical Service (NEMS), to determine whether they need a face-to-face gp consultation. The weekend service will only be available by appointment and is not a walk-in service.
Gamston was chosen for the pilot because of its central position in the borough and strong public transport and road links.
It follows a major patient survey commissioned by NHS Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning in spring 2014 in which patients said they wanted to see improved access to gps outside of normal hours. The new service is one of many new schemes being funded by the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund – a national allocation of money to improve access to primary care services.
Dr Stephen Shortt, gp and clinical lead for NHS Rushcliffe CCG said: “The pilot service has had a successful launch, providing high quality and timely care to patients who have so far, responded very positively about the new service.
“The aim is to treat patients closer to their own homes when they need care outside of normal working hours. We hope the service will also help to relieve some pressure on the Emergency Department and hospitals which have undergone some periods of intense pressure this winter”.
“This is about gps and health care staff working together, based in the communities they already serve. By operating an appointment only system we can focus our attention on those who really need to see a gp so they get the service they need.”
The pilot service will run until the end of September and then be evaluated before a decision is made about its future.