GPs will work alongside Basingstoke hospital emergency department doctors in a bid to reduce waiting times (From Andover Advertiser)
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GPs will work alongside Basingstoke hospital emergency department doctors in a bid to reduce waiting times
GPs will work side by side with casualty doctors at Basingstoke hospital to help relieve pressure on a stretched accident and emergency department.
A three year £2.5 million contract has been awarded to North Hampshire Urgent Care - the organisation that runs Hantsdoc - to have GPs working in A&E.
Hospital bosses say the service will curb waiting times, and free up doctors to treat more complex admissions.
However they stressed that the new service should not be "abused" and patients should try and see their local GP first, or seek advice from 111 out of hours.
Under the scheme, when a patient attends the Emergency Department, a nurse will conduct an assessment and decide whether a doctor or GP should treat them.
Dr Sam Hullah, chief clinical officer for the North Hampshire Calleva Clinical Commissioning Group - the GP led organisation that delivers NHS services in north Hampshire - said the new way of working will give patients “the best care for their needs at the time”.
“When people come to the Emergency Department we have general practitioners and emergency nurses to see some of these patients,” he said.
“We get complex patients but we also get of patients that don't need X-rays and other investigations. That is for our GPs."
Dr Howard Simpson, clinical director of unscheduled care at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the new service which also sees Basingstoke Hospital building two new clinical rooms in the Emergency Department bringing the total number to four.
“For me it will allow more time to concentrate on the serious and more complex patients that will require more urgent treatment," he said.
“It will reduce waiting times and we can treat people quickly and more effectively.”
Sue Paterson, chief executive of North Hampshire Urgent Care added: “North Hampshire Urgent Care is delighted to have been awarded this contract and very much looks forward to working with hospital colleagues to provide improved urgent care services at the hospital during the day while continuing to provide the Hantsdoc service to patients when GP surgeries are closed.”
It is hoped the change will boost Basingstoke Hospital's waiting time performance.
As previously reported bosses at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - which runs Basingstoke Hospital, Andover War Memorial Hospital, and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester - apologised to patients after it was revealed to be the third worst trust in the country for long waiting times.
Admissions to A&E rose 20 per cent last year as a result of the closure of the drop-in centre, introduction of the 111 NHS helpline number, and an increasing elderly population.
This year, 50,000 patients will visit the Emergency Department at Basingstoke hospital - 80 per cent walking in and 20 per cent being brought in by ambulance.
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