Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

Suffolk GP project to give better access out of hours already proving to be a success

07:00 16 October 2015

Archant

A pilot project to give people in Suffolk better access to GP services in the evenings and at weekends is already gaining positive results from patients, the group running the service has said.

Suffolk GP+ has been running in Ipswich since September at the Riverside Clinic and will launch in Bury St Edmunds in November – it will offer an extra 20,000 appointments over the next nine months.

Ahead of its official launch by health minister and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer this weekend, it has been revealed that a total of 50 GPs have signed up to form part of the service’s bank of doctors.

And Dr Paul Driscoll, chairman of the Suffolk GP Federation, which is running the pilot, said the service has been welcomed by other healthcare providers including the ambulance service.

Dr Driscoll said: “We are receiving positive feedback from patients because they are getting a quicker appointment for their medical need. The added benefits are that they see a local Suffolk GP who can access their medical record and update it after their appointment so their registered GP is aware.”

“As well as the benefits for the patient’s health in seeing a doctor sooner, we are getting good feedback from healthcare partners such as the ambulance crews and Ipswich Hospital who are valuing the service because it is easing pressure on A&E.

“This is a nine month pilot and if it goes well we hope to be able to extend it,” he added.

The service also offers GP services to patients on bank holidays, with appointments being booked through the patient’s own local GP practice.

In addition to this, Suffolk GP+ is working with hospitals and the ambulance service to ease pressure on emergency departments.

At Ipswich Hospital – and at West Suffolk Hospital from November – patients waiting at A&E and who are assessed as have minor ailments will be offered an appointment with the service.

Paramedics who attend 999 calls also have the option of contacting the service if the patient is assessed as needing to see a GP rather than going to hospital.

The NHS 111 telephone service and GP out-of-hours services are also working with Suffolk GP+.

Paul Kaiser, GP governing body member at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “People in Suffolk treat their health service with respect, and the majority of people do all the right things to look after themselves.

“However, when people have tried every other avenue - from eating well, drinking plenty of fluid and getting their immunisations – the next port of call is their family doctor.

“Having more bookable appointments will give people another option over these winter months.”

The service has electronic access to patients’ notes, with patient consent, so the GP or nurse practitioner can better understand their medical background quickly. The notes are then updated by Suffolk GP+.

The scheme was made possible after a proposal was made by the Suffolk GP Federation to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.

It was initially hoped that funding of £10million would lead to the creation of 10 GP hubs. The project eventually received more than £2m for the project.

1 comment

  • Wasn't this formerly known as out of hours and minor injury unit that was closed several years ago? Don't see that this a new service, more a case of someone realising that they closed a great service and suddenly seem surprised at the extra pressure this closure placed on local A&E etc, and rather than admit their mistake they wait a while, restart a service and give it a new name!

    Report this comment

    Jackie Gale

    Friday, October 16, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

University students were evacuated from their accommodation block in Ipswich tonight after a fire broke out.

The manager of a Felixstowe charity shop has made a plea for the return of an “irreplaceable” toy that was kit-napped this weekend.

A generous group of bikers delivered hundreds of Christmas presents to a children’s centre on Sunday.

A veteran dance duo are hanging up their competing shoes and turning their attention to teaching.

Bobble hats, festive wreaths and teapot cosies were just some of the treats on offer at Woodbridge’s Christmas street fair this weekend.

Delivering millions of presents around the world in one night won’t seem quite as hard this year for Santa after he completed a gruelling obstacle course in Ipswich.

Thirteen out of 23 people pictured on CCTV in Bury St Edmunds near the time of RAF airman Corrie McKeague’s disappearance have now been identified, according to the 23-year-old’s family.

People in need in Felixstowe are queuing for up to 45 minutes to buy a carrier bag of food for £1.

Visitors to Needham Market on Sunday saw both a fayre and festival underway to celebrate Christmas.

A luxury sports car crashed through a central reservation and caught fire in a single-vehicle crash in west Suffolk in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24