More than 5,000 Gosport patients have used the new Same Day Access Service (SDAS) in the first seven weeks of its launch.
Early indications are that the pilot scheme is succeeding in its prime aim of making it easier for people to receive same-day consultations with a GP, nurse or relevant healthcare professional on the day they make contact.
And there are signs that it is also having the extra advantage of freeing up routine appointments at the four participating GP practices.
New figures released today show that around 1,000 calls a week have been received by the SDAS this year. The service went live on December 16 but was fully up-and-running by the start of January.
Mondays are the busiest days with pressures on the service generally reducing during a typical week.
It’s not just GPs in demand. For January, the calls led to 665 GP, 694 nurse, 152 paediatric and 94 physiotherapy appointments.
The Same Day Access Service is being run from a hub at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and is currently being resourced by staff from four of Gosport’s 11 participating GP medical practices - Waterside (Mumby Road), Stoke Road, Brune (Rowner Road) and Forton (Whites Place).
The service provides both same day ‘phone triage and face-to-face appointments. Booking appointments at Gosport’s other seven practices will continue as usual. The scheme does not involve the closure of any GP practices or restrictions to opening hours.
Business will also continue as usual for the four practices involved in the pilot, which will be continually monitored and reviewed after six months.
The initiative is in response to ever-increasing demands on primary care services in Gosport at a time when the town has been hit hard by the national problems of GP recruitment which is putting a strain on many family doctors.
How it works
Patients requesting a same day appointment call their practice as usual
- The receptionist takes patient details, appropriate clinical details to facilitate the triage process, and agrees for a health professional to call back the patient
- Patients are called in order of clinical priority following initial review by the triaging clinician
- This results in a telephone consultation and if required an appointment at GWMH to be seen by a relevant health professional.
Dr Donal Collins, who chairs the Locality Board which includes all 11 Gosport practices, said: “At the outset of this scheme, we said it gave us a real chance not just to sustain access to our services - but also to improve them. And that is what appears to be happening.
“It’s still early days yet, and we are continually fine-tuning and making adjustments and improvements where we can, but the initial indications are very encouraging.”
Project Manager Michele Hayman-Joyce said: “We are very busy, particularly on Mondays - with a larger volume of activity than expected. This is something that we are working on.
“We have had feedback from the practices that this is allowing them to increase their routine appointments back at practice. Several patients have commented how pleased they were to be able to get an appointment the same day.
“The triage room is a hub of activity and really encouraging listening to the different health care professionals working together to provide the patients with the best care from the most appropriate professional.”