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Extra GP appointments helping keep people home and out of hospital.

8 new Primary Care Hubs have opened across Cornwall offering on the day appointments for people needing urgent care.

The hubs will provide extra GP appointments that GP surgeries can direct some of their patients to attend, according to set criteria.

The new concept aims to ease on-the-day demand on general practice, allowing practices to focus on patients with long term conditions.

The hubs are conveniently located across the county in Launceston, Bodmin, St Austell, Truro, Mount Hawke, Redruth, Helston, and St Ives

Patients who contact their GP surgery for an appointment will be referred to an appointment at a suitable located primary care hub.

You can't just turn up, you will need to have an appointment made by your GP surgery.

Dr Janine Glazier said – “The primary care hubs are a winter plan initiative to see  patients a little bit quicker and also allow those patients with those really complex long term conditions to see their own GP and healthcare professionals on a more regular basis”

The primary care hubs are run by experienced health professionals including a GP or practitioner with minor illness experience who will offer advice and onward care including providing prescriptions.

Lisa Davey, a patient on the day said “I did an E-Consult this morning as I’ve had a cough for over 10 days and I’ve been feeling quite unwell. After 20 minutes of completing the E-Consult, I had a phone call to say someone could see me at the hub this afternoon, its perfect, straight in and straight here”.

Helen Sowden, another patient said “I had the flu virus a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t been able to shift a cough and its gotten worse. I did an online clinic to the doctors surgery who phoned me back this morning and offered me this appointment this afternoon”

The hubs are just one element of a wider winter plan for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s health and care system which also includes:

  • extra places in Community Assessment Treatment units which provide same day assessment to keep people from being admitted to hospital.
  • personal health budgets to cover costs to help a person leave hospital.
  • additional investment into local community support including the Community Gateway telephone service and over 50 community hubs.

Among the patients who have benefited from the approach this winter are Bob Burgess from Saltash, who broke his ankle on the beach before Christmas. Bob attended Bodmin’s minor injuries unit, where he was seen within two hours and has been helped to stay at home with social care visits, a hospital bed downstairs and help from good neighbours.

Bob said “It’s an absolutely amazing feeling.  I’m in my home, not in a hospital surrounded by strangers.  It means a lot to be able to stay at home and I am thankful for that.”

People can find out more about the support on offer this winter on the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly website, which includes information on support for people to leave hospital, virtual wards and health advice for families.

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