Out of hours service impacts on King’s Lynn hospital
Problems with the new GP out of hours service has impacted on Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Chief executive Dorothy Hosein says IC24 has not been able to fill their rotas and is having an effect with people arriving at the Gayton Road hospital for treatment .
IC24 were commissioned to provide the 111 for Norfolk and Wisbech last year to provide urgent care for patients who need to be seen before their GP surgery next opens.
The Kent-based company said the hospital has not raised issues with them and has been surprised by the comment.
Mrs Hosein said: “In September last year IC24 were commissioned to do out of hours and they have not been able to fill their rotas and that has impacted on us.”
She said that the hospital would expect the out of hours service to see 20 patients in a shift.
Mrs Hosein added: “We have definitely seen an increase in out of hours patients.”
During a briefing on Monday, Mrs Hosein said that winter pressures are still affecting the hospital.
She said a project is looking at the flow within the hospital and will be sharing evidence from this with their commissioners and social services.
Mrs Hosein said there were issues with patients being in hospital when they should be cared for elsewhere and that there are constant delays in discharging patients from Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
She said that the hospital opened 19 beds this winter but this has not been sufficient.
Chairman of the hospital trust Edward Libbey said: “The patients don’t need to be here if they are medically fit and they are better off outside.”
IC24 uses a system which is GP led but uses a wider mix of prescribing and non-prescribing clinicians.
It also states that between September 2015 and January 31, 2016, calls have gone up by 15 per cent from 18,650 to 23,111.
The service also says that the number of people referred to A&E has been reduced by five per cent and the proportion of patients sent an ambulance by the 111 service has fallen from 12.2 per cent to 11.9 per cent.
IC24 also states that number of patients referred onto other services, not A&E, has risen from 6.1 per cent to 7 per cent.
A spokesman said: “QEH have not been in touch with us to indicate any issue and we are surprised by this comment.
“Particularly as we had good rota fill this weekend including additional GP cover on Sunday and we assisted A&E on both Saturday and Sunday seeing walk in patients who were sent through to our service.”