Adults and children living in Bracknell and Ascot can now access same-day urgent care within the community, thanks to new services introduced by multiple health organisations working together.
NHS commissioners in Bracknell have been working in close collaboration with One Medical Group, Berkshire Primary Care (BPC) and local Primary Care Networks (PCNs), to co-design a new Integrated Urgent Care Winter pathway.
A weekday daytime home visiting service, same-day acute illness clinics and an evening paediatric clinic have all been set up to provide joined-up care to support patients stay away from hospital as winter approaches.
Launched towards the end of October, the pathway offers three same-day urgent care services:-
- A home visiting service delivered between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. This service expands on the current service which has been delivered by BPC for the last 2 years. The service offers home visits for those that are unable to attend a GP practice or for those whose needs are safer met in their home environment
- On the day clinics for acute illnesses operating from two local sites between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (Forest Health Group – Skimped Hill site)) and 1pm to 6.30pm (Ringmead Medical Practice – Crowthorne site). Patients will be allocated a designated 20 minute appointment time and will be informed which site to attend for assessment
- A twilight Paediatric Clinic for children aged 0-16 years, operating from Ringmead Medical Practice in Crowthorne, between 6.30pm and 8pm, Monday to Friday
Access into the new services is via General Practice referral only, meaning that all patients should continue to contact their GP surgery if they have an urgent health need. If appropriate, the clinician will then book the patient in with the local Integrated Urgent Care Team, who will be delivering the services, and provide details of their appointment.
All outcomes of consultations carried out by the Integrated Urgent Care Team will be added to the patient’s medical record.
The new services are the work of NHS commissioners in Bracknell, One Medical Group, GP Federation Berkshire Primary Care (BPC) and local GP networks (Primary Care Networks).
Helen Snowden, Director of Operations for Berkshire Primary Care, said: “Berkshire Primary Care is proud to provide the infrastructure that has allowed the new service to be developed. The joining up of Primary Care and Urgent Care makes sense and this has provided the ideal opportunity to co-design new pathways for improved access for patient care.”
Local GP and Primary Care Network (PCN) lead, Dr Farhad Daruwalla, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial additional pressures on General Practice in relation to meeting all of the physical and mental wellbeing needs of patients at a time of public health emergency. Together with our partners in Urgent Care, we have worked to design and implement a new service to boost the availability of appointments and home visits. The service has been well received by our patients and has also helped release some additional capacity in GP surgeries to help patients whether they have a new illness or a long-term health condition.”
Shaun Major-Preece, Director of Professions & Quality for OnePrimaryCare, part of OneMedicalGroup, said: “We have been working with Berkshire Primary Care and the Bracknell and Ascot Primary Care Networks, to develop and implement integrated urgent care pathways for the local populations. These pathways allow patients to access same-day care if they have urgent primary care needs; such as those needing home visits or those feeling unwell. The pathways have been successful and we are really proud of the collaborative approach that we have taken collectively as care providers to ensure patients’ needs are met.”
Delivering the new Urgent Care Winter pathway is a multi-disciplined team made up of GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners, Paramedic Practitioners, Advanced Clinical Practitioners and Urgent Care reception staff. Some members of the team include staff who were redeployed into Primary Care to support with the COVID response.
The services are only for urgent health needs. Anyone with non-urgent health needs should continue to use the following services:
- Pharmacist – For advice on medicines and healthier living
- NHS111 online – www.111.nhs.uk – or phone – call NHS 111 – If you need advice or reassurance about what to do; if you think you need to go hospital; or if you don’t have a GP to call or your GP is closed
- GP practice: Visit your practice website and click on eConsult – If you need to tell your GP about an illness that won’t go away; order a repeat prescription; to report an urgent skin problem that is spreading; ear pain; or backache. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can continue to phone your surgery.
Always call 999 if you are facing a very serious or life-threatening situation.