It's two year's later than planned by finally its good news as urgent care pilot is launched in Wisbech
At last - a new urgent care service has finally launched in Wisbech, almost two years later than previously planned.
The Local Urgent Care Hub (LUC) aims to keep people out of hospital A&E departments thanks to the support of GP expertise supporting practitioners at the Minor Injury Unit (MIU) at the North Cambs Hospital.
The aim is to treat more patients in Wisbech, reducing the need for people to travel to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Lynn or one of the area's other hospitals.
The LUC pilot was due to launch in April 2017 but a lack of GP capacity put the scheme on hold in both Wisbech and Doddington. There is still no launch date for the Doddington pilot, but it is hoped it will go ahead later this year.
The LUC pilot at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely did successfully launch in 2017 and has been a huge success, so much so that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group - which funds the scheme - announced last autumn that funding would be extended for a further 12 months.
Practitioners at the North Cambs Hospital will assess and treat patients with an urgent condition, but they will be able to call on rapid GP support if required. No appointment is needed and opening hours remain the same (Monday to Friday 8.30pm to 6pm).
Dr Sira, GP at North Brink Practice said “Wisbech MIU has always been a highly valued service for local residents and The North Brink Practice is pleased to be able to support the excellent nurse practitioners in their role to help to provide better, high quality, joined up urgent care for our patients.”
“Having access to a GP enables the MIU team to treat a wider range of conditions and prevent patients being referred to an alternative service such as emergency department or back to their GP for treatment. This will not only help improve patient experience but to ease pressure on urgent care services elsewhere too.”
Stephen Russell, lead nurse at the MIU said: “We are very excited to have the opportunity to provide a more seamless service to our patients. Collaborating with primary care will enable us to increase the scope of conditions we are able to manage in the MIU with the support of GP access for those with urgent but not life threatening health concerns. Over time we hope to develop the service further and provide help and support to patients with a wider range of presenting complaints.”
Unlike at Ely, where there is a doctor on site, GP support at Wisbech will be provided via the telephone, or if required patients will be referred to an ‘on call’ GP at North Brink Practice for further consultation and treatment.
Wisbech is the second of the three pilots to launch within East Cambridgeshire and Fenland. Helping to improve access to urgent care, each LUCS pilot is locality specific, recognising the different opportunities and challenges in each area.