Right prescription Changes add 100,000 appointments in county
PATIENTS should be able to see a GP on Saturday and Sunday when a new approach creates an extra 100,000 appointments in the county this year.
Gloucestershire is one of 14 areas to trial a system which will see paramedics and other NHS staff taking the pressure off GPS.
And it is hoped that will leave doctors and nurses with enough extra time to offer another 100,000 appointments to patients after hours and at weekends.
Patients will be signposted directly to the most appropriate health professional.
Clinical pharmacists, paramedics, mental health workers and physiotherapists are working in surgeries.
Paramedics are carrying out around 120 visits a month, while physiotherapists in other networks are offering more than 180 appointments.
There are also more than 40 clinical pharmacists working in practices offering expert advice on medications, along with three mental health practitioners, who see around 65 patients a week.
All 75 GP practices in Gloucestershire are involved in creating a Primary Care Network model which bands around 16 surgeries into a hub that works with community health services, local government and voluntary and community services in the ground.
Gloucestershire is leading the way but the Government would like other areas of the country to adopt the same set-up by the end of this year.
NHS chiefs say the approach means more patients are being treated close to home with fewer people needing to be referred to hospital.
Dr Jeremy Welch, a GP in Tewkesbury, said: “Introducing different skill mixes into our practices has been excellent for patients, and across Gloucestershire we have a variety of different services based on each surgery’s specific need. “The feedback from patients and staff has been extremely pleasing and we are encouraged to keep developing the offer we are able to provide to our patients.
“We are in exciting times and it really feels like a team effort to support our patients.”
More appointments are available from Monday to Friday 6.30-8pm and weekends, provided by the GP Provider Company for Gloucestershire. [email protected]plc.com
Gloucestershire is one of 14 areas to trial a new health system. Right, Dr Jeremy Welch