A PORTSMOUTH-WIDE GP hub will offer out-of-hours care with the hopes a 24/7 service will also be available soon thanks to a new initiative.
Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance, which represents GP practices in the city, to deliver a new-look approach to treatment.
The scheme will see the GP hub at Lake Road Health Centre which will offer routine and urgent same-day appointments until 10pm, 365 days a year.
It is hoped the new service will deter people who do not need emergency treatment from going to A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital, especially as the hub is central to more residents and has free car parking.
Dr Linda Collie, the CCG’s clinical lead, said: ‘Have no doubt that this is a quiet revolution in the way we plan and deliver primary care services.
‘Under this new process, patients will experience a safer and a more effective service, run by Portsmouth clinicians with full access to their medical records.
‘It will also reduce pressure on other NHS services, such as the emergency department at QA, and it will increase sustainability of GP services by helping us address the peaks and troughs we experience in practices during opening times.
‘Currently, the local health system is served by a confusing array of primary care services spread across multiple sites.
‘I have no doubt that is part of the reason that many people unnecessarily head straight for the emergency department when there are other more appropriate options available.’
As part of the scheme the CCG and the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance are planning to link up three services to provide a ‘streamlined and unified’ new model for urgent out-of-hospital care. They are the Acute Visiting Service for all Portsmouth GP registered patients needing urgent but non-emergency care; extended access service which provides routine medical provision outside of core hours and the out-of-hours provision accessed through the NHS 111 service between 10pm and 8am.
Dr Rumi Chhapia, a city GP, said: ‘Essentially we are talking about enhancing existing services, and delivering them in a different way.
‘It is about delivering better health outcomes for patients, increased access for patients and improved integration between the various providers – who would all have access to the same patient notes.
‘We strongly believe that this is very much a win-win scenario for patients.’