Right pre­scrip­tion Changes add 100,000 ap­point­ments in county

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By JANET HUGHES

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

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