A GP scheme to help patients in Fareham access same-day appointments has seen its 75,000th patient – less than a fortnight before its second anniversary.
The figure includes 22,200 patients who have been seen since February, with its most recent survey showing that the vast majority would recommend the service to friends or family.
The Fareham Primary Care Service (FPCS), which was launched on September 20 2017, brought together GPs from three practices to offer same-day appointments in Fareham Community Hospital for their registered patients. It also provides a home visiting service.
The hub is also staffed by advanced nurse practitioners, a musculoskeletal specialist and a health care assistant from Jubilee Surgery (Titchfield), The Highlands Practice (Fareham) and the Whiteley Surgery.
Dr Tom Bertram, a Titchfield GP who is the project’s clinical lead, said: “This is not a numbers game but we are seeing more than 3,000 patients a month and I am delighted that the survey shows that it is proving to be such a positive experience for them.
“There has been a huge increase in demand for same day appointments in recent years which puts a great deal of pressure on an individual practice’s ability to provide continuity of high quality care for those patients who need it the most, including elderly patients and those with complex medical needs.
“By working together and collaboratively, the FPCS means that if patients from Whiteley, Highlands or Jubilee have an urgent but not an emergency medical problem, we can try to deal with it promptly and efficiently.
“The other big benefit is that colleague GPs back in the individual practices should have more time to focus on complex issues and ongoing problems, sometimes offering patients longer appointments, which can in turn improve health outcomes.”
Patients wanting urgent same-day appointments phone their GP practice, and if they agree to their details being shared with the service, they will then be called back in order of clinical priority with a nurse/GP having a detailed conversation with them. This may result in the patient being given advice over the phone or offered an appointment.
The patient survey showed that 92% of respondents were extremely likely or likely to recommend the service to friends or family if they needed similar treatment, with the remaining 8% either ‘don’t knows’ or neither likely or unlikely to recommend the service.
Asked what they would have done if the FPCS was not available, most patients said they would have waited longer to have seen their own GP. The others said they would have called NHS111, gone to the urgent treatment centre, visited their local pharmacy or gone to the Emergency Department.