Skelton consultation event to find out more about plans to introduce 7 day GP services

People living in the Skelton area will be able to find out more about plans by the local NHS to introduce 7 day access to GP services at a consultation event on Tuesday 16 February.

The event will take place at Skelton Civic Hall, Coniston Road, Skelton, TS12 2EY from 5pm til 7pm. People are encouraged to reserve a place by contacting 01642 745401 or visiting www.makinghealthsimple.org.

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and funds the majority of health services on behalf of the local population and has launched a public consultation on changes to urgent care services across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The CCG is planning to replace walk in centres at Low Grange in Eston and Resolution at North Ormesby with improved access to GP services from either 4, 6 or 8 extended hours GP centres that will be open 7 days a week.

The CCG wants to make better use of its £8.4 million urgent care budget by simplifying services, reducing duplication, and ensuring that the free to call NHS 111 service plays a more prominent role in the future of urgent care services.

Amanda Hume, chief officer of NHS South Tees CCG said: “The CCG is not reducing its budget for urgent care services. We want to make best use of this critical resource, and respond to the significant feedback around improving GP access across the whole of our population, 7 days a week.

“In order to do this, the CCG cannot also maintain the two walk in centres as they currently exist. Therefore from 31 March 2017 we will be replacing these services with a number of extended hours GP centres across the whole of the South Tees area. Patients who are registered at the walk in centres are not affected by this consultation.”

The consultation is also seeking local people’s views on:

  • Introducing a GP in front of A&E to treat or signpost appropriate patients to alternative primary care services, freeing up A&E for those with the greatest need;
  • The number and potential location of extended hours GP centres that will offer access to GP services after 6pm and at weekends.

This follows extensive engagement with local people and key partners, which began in July 2015 and gathered the views and experiences of over 1,500 local people. The CCG were keen to understand local experiences of urgent care services across South Tees, including:

  • GP practices;
  • GP out of hours services;
  • NHS 111;
  • Minor injuries units (MIUs) (James Cook University Hospital and Redcar Primary Care Hospital);
  • Walk in centres (Resolution at North Ormesby and Low Grange at Eston);
  • Pharmacies;
  • Self care (looking after yourself).

A number of key themes emerged from the engagement phase. The engagement report is available on the consultation website –www.makinghealthsimple.org.

These were:

  • Many people find the current system confusing;
  • Most people do try and care for themselves before using services;
  • When they do use a service, most people’s preference is to see a GP;
  • Most people get an appointment with their GP when they need one (although some might not get one on the same day);
  • Most people will obtain health information from their GP practice, the internet or a pharmacist;
  • Many people haven’t heard of NHS 111;
  • The majority of people who phoned 111, said it was a positive experience;
  • People were concerned that the number of questions asked by NHS 111 call handlers caused delays in dealing with their problem;
  • The majority of people reported having a positive experience of using local walk in centres;
  • Most people said that Accident & Emergency should only be used by patients who have a life threatening condition;
  • People believe that it is important that their health records can be shared between services.

As a result, the CCG has formed a number of options for the ‘Making Health Simple: Right Place, First Time’ consultation.

The options for the consultation are described below in more detail. In summary, the CCG wants local people to have their say on:

  • How long seven day GP access should be extended by;
  • How many extended GP centres there are and their potential locations;
  • The introduction of a GP working in front of the A&E department at James Cook University Hospital, to relieve pressure within A&E by treating or signposting patients to other GP services according to the urgency and nature of their health need.

 

Options the CCG is consulting the public on

Option One

  • 6 Extended Hours GP Centres (6pm to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 8pm at weekends, replacing walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange);
  • GP working at the front of the A&E department at James Cook University Hospital;
  • GP out of hours service reduced to 8pm to 8am, 7 days a week;
  • GP led minor injuries units with x-ray (James Cook University Hospital open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Redcar Primary Care Hospital open 8am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week – reduced from 24 hour opening to reflect the significant reduction in patient demand after 9.30pm).

Option Two*

  • 4 Extended Hours GP Centres (6pm to 9.30pm weekdays and 8am to 9.30pm at weekends, replacing walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange);
  • GP working at the front of the A&E department at James Cook University Hospital;
  • GP out of hours service reduced to 9.30pm to 8am, 7 days a week;
  • GP led minor injuries units with x-ray (James Cook University Hospital open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Redcar Primary Care Hospital open 8am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week – reduced from 24 hour opening to reflect the significant reduction in patient demand after 9.30pm).

*The CCG believes Option 2 is the best option because:

  1. It is the optimum affordable solution.
  2. It offers extended opening in primary care until 9.30pm that matches demand.
  3. It reduces confusion and makes services simpler for people to understand. After 9.30pm, people would call NHS 111 and be directed to the most appropriate service (minor injuries unit at James Cook University Hospital or GP out of hours service). This would provide the right care, first time.

Option Three

  • 8 Extended Hours GP Centres (6pm to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 8pm at weekends, replacing walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange);
  • GP out of hours service reduced to 8pm to 8am, 7 days a week;
  • GP led minor injuries units with x-ray (James Cook University Hospital open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Redcar Primary Care Hospital open 8am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week – reduced from 24 hour opening to reflect the significant reduction in patient demand after 9.30pm).

Option 3 does not include a GP working at the front of A&E at James Cook University Hospital.

 

Amanda Hume, chief officer of NHS South Tees CCG said: “Urgent care services must change to reflect the growing demands of our local population and be in line with Government policy, which says that 7 day access to a GP must be in place by 2020.

“In South Tees, we are ahead of the game in planning future services now. We have listened to local people as part of our engagement work. They told us how much they value access to a GP and we are proposing extending access to GP services 7 days a week.

“They also told us that it is important that their health records are available across urgent care services. We believe that our proposals demonstrate that we have listened to local people and are addressing local needs.

“We also believe that our proposals make much better use of the money we spend on urgent care. This consultation is not about reducing services or the money we spend on urgent care.

“However, we must reduce duplication and for this reason we cannot offer extended access to GP services 7 days a week and also sustain the walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange.

“We realise that replacing the walk in centres may disappoint some people, but we are confident that our proposals to improve access to GP services, and with our GPs working more closely together, we can ensure that people have access to a GP when they need one, 7 days a week.

“People have told us that the way local health services are set up can be confusing. They’ve also told us that they value having access to a GP and that it is important to them that their health records are available across urgent care services.

“Our ‘Making Health Simple: Right Place, First Time’ consultation aims to simplify the structure of urgent care services, to ensure that people are seen by the right health professional, in the right place, at the right time.

“Our public consultation launches on 11 January and will run for 12 weeks until Friday 1 April. During that time, we have arranged a number of public meetings that people can attend, find out more and have their say about our proposals. We have arranged meetings across the South Tees patch, at different times of the day and at weekends, to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part.

“More information is available on the consultation website – www.makinghealthsimple.org , including an online survey. Paper copies are also available by contacting 01642 745401.

“I look forward to seeing as many people as possible at our public meetings and using this opportunity to influence our approach to urgent care services for the future.”

ENDS

Public consultation meetings –

A number of public meetings have been arranged as part of the consultation. These are detailed below. To book a place at one of the events, click on the link within the ‘venue’ section. This will take you to a booking website. Alternatively, you can call 01642 745401 or email stccg.makinghealthsimple@nhs.net

Date Venue Time
Tuesday 16 February 2016 Skelton Civic Hall, Coniston Rd, Skelton TS12 2EY 5pm-7pm
Saturday 27 February 2016 Skelton Civic Hall, Coniston Rd, Skelton TS12 2EY 2pm-4pm
Thursday 10 March 2016 Inspire To Learn, Eston City Learning Centre, Normanby Road Middlesbrough TS6 9AE 5pm-7pm
*RECENTLY ADDED Tuesday 15 March 2016 Sunnyfield House Community Centre, 36 Westgate, Guisborough, TS14 6BA 10am-12pm
Saturday 19 March 2016 Trinity Centre James Street North Ormesby Middlesbrough TS3 6LD 11am-1pm
Thursday 31 March 2016 Tuned In, Majuba Road, Redcar, TS10 5BJ 12pm-2pm

 

For further information, contact the North of England Commissioning Support communications and engagement team on 07826 531333 or emailsimonclayton@nhs.net.

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