A NEW same-day urgent care unit combining the skills of all six town centre GP practices could be just six months away from opening, according to lead doctor Jonathan Wells.
The ‘Multi-specialty Community Provider’ (MCP), staffed by local GPs, will offer a same-day appointment for local residents needing to see a doctor urgently.
The aim is to meet the demand for same-day appointments while freeing up GPs to offer longer consultations for people with long-term conditions and relieving the pressure on hard-pressed practices.
“About 40 per cent of the patients we see have urgent, same-day issues, but if you ring up your doctor’s practice for an appointment it is unlikely you’ll see your own GP,” said Dr Wells.
“Under this system you would be seen instead by a GP at the same-day hub. It’s separating urgent care from routine care.”
However Dr Wells emphasised it wouldn’t mean the end of the family doctor and neither would the hub, which would be contactable by telephone, be a drop-in centre for ‘walking wounded’.
“We did a data analysis of all the urgent appointment requests in March across the practices and we are doing some modelling on that,” said Dr Wells.
“We’ll then put a business case to Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, then it will need staffing and IT systems.
“There’s also the question of premises, whether it’s a town centre location or rotated among the six GP practices – there are a lot of hurdles – but we are I’d say about six months away,” added Dr Wells.
“There are a lot of positives, for patients and doctors, and it could well relieve pressure on A&E too, it’s now a question of how to make it happen in practice.”