Patients who need urgent same day appointment in North East Lincs to benefit from more streamlined service

Sent and written on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council:

To support GP practices in meeting the GP Contract requirement to enable NHS 111 to directly book appointments with GP practices by 31 March 2020, we implemented GP Connect to all GP practices in Humber, Coast and Vale (HCV).  This provides a more seamless experience for patients by removing the need for them to phone multiple services and is an important pillar of the NHS ‘Talk Before You Walk’ strategy, that signposts and triages patients to the most appropriate service via NHS 111.

However, in North East Lincs CCG, the Single Point of Access (SPA) operates as a local alternative to NHS 111 and deals with three-quarters of patient calls. In order to provide the same service to patients that call the SPA, we are now in a position to enable the SPA team to directly book GP appointments for patients, in the same way that NHS 111 can do.

Hannah Nadin, Operations Manager at Care Plus Group, the organisation that runs the SPA commented:  ‘The patients for whom the SPA will be making appointments will go through a thorough triage with the clinical team at SPA. These are the patients who, after an in-depth triage, require an urgent same-day appointment with their GP and may not re-dial their GP to make an appointment, so this service helps to remove that element of risk.’

The direct booking service will only be used for patients who need an urgent same-day appointment and not for everyday appointments or for things such as minor ailments, prescription requests or long term condition management.