Two Hampshire practices have launched an urgent care system to improve access to same-day appointments for their patients.
GPs at the practices in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire are confident that this system will help them to offer more routine doctor appointments and reduce patients waiting times.
In a letter to patients, Lee-on-the-Solent Health Centre said they will be working with Manor Way Surgery to deliver a new urgent care system.
The practices announced yesterday (12 March) that the new system will be in place by 26 March.
Several reasons encouraged the two surgeries to switch to this new system, such as a ‘lack of routine doctors’ appointments within a four week period’, growing patient demand for same-day urgent appointments and the difficulty to recruit more locum doctors, they said.
After recruiting two prescribing nurse practitioners, the practices joined forces and a clinical team from both Lee-on-the-Solent Health Centre and Manor Way Surgery will work cooperatively to deliver the service.
All requests for same-day urgent appointments will be transferred to a duty team, which will later contact the patients according to ‘clinical urgency’, the practices specified.
The practices, which are based in the same street, will remain independent from one another and continue to offer routine appointments to patients on their patient lists.
The practices said: ‘Any patient who is either registered with Lee Medical Practice or Manor Way Surgery who feels they require an ‘urgent on the day’ appointment will now be directed by our fully trained care navigators to the most appropriate health care professional, depending on the urgent medical issue that you present with.’
NHS England found that practices can save up to £15,000 and 260 hours of GP time by making better use of clinical nurses.