Patients in Peterlee and Seaham will still be able to access services during the evening and weekends in a GP ‘hub’ near to where they live, following a 12 week public consultation.
Changes to the service which provides additional appointments during evening and weekends via GP ‘hubs’ have been agreed and will be in place in September and October this year.
Commissioners want to stress that the GP ‘hubs’ are not walk in services and appointments need to be made via a patient’s own GP practice or NHS 111.
Appointments will be available from 12 noon – 8 pm during the week and 8am – 1pm on a weekend in Peterlee, and in Seaham from 6-8pm during the week and 8am – 1pm on a weekend.
There have been changes to the number of hubs available, but patients in these areas will still be able to access the service from a neighboring ‘hub’.
Additional support to access transport for those who need it, especially to towns that no longer have a ‘hub’ will be available. In addition more pre- booked appointments for patients who struggle to access normal GP services will be provided and enhanced services for frail and housebound patients.
The CCG has announced the decision to implement changes to ‘7 day services’ following support received at the Durham Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 11 June 2019. The CCGs Governing Body approved the recommendations presented in an independent report in a meeting held in public on 28 May.
The CCG wants to remind people that they should think GP surgery first during the day between 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday and contact NHS 111 at all other times where clinical staff will signpost you to the most appropriate service based on your clinical need
Dr Stewart Findlay, Chief Officer, NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG said, “The changes will ensure that we continue to provide high quality prompt treatment or advice. We will be launching a local marketing campaign in advance of the changes advising the public what to do if they are unwell and their GP practice is closed.
‘The CCGs priority is to commission services that reflect the health needs of our entire population and it is clear from the numbers we are seeing in the current nine hubs that we need to change the service and make sure we are investing NHS funding wisely and providing services that meet patient’s need.
‘We are looking at enhancing the patient transport service and bringing more outreach services into the most vulnerable patient’s homes following feedback during the consultation and we will keep the public informed of this.’
The consultation report is being widely publicised and is available on the CCG website at www.durhamdaleseasingtonsedgefieldccg.nhs.uk