North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech is second of three Cambridgeshire sites to trial urgent care service
PUBLISHED: 12:58 08 February 2019
A pilot scheme has been launched at North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech to ease pressure on busy A&E departments.
The Wisbech Local Urgent Care Service (LUCS) service is the second of the three pilots to launch within East Cambridgeshire and Fenland after Ely LUCS began in May 2017, with the Doddington LUCS service expected to launch later this year.
The service provides GPs with the expertise to support practitioners in the minor injury unit (MIU) with an aim to treat more patients in Wisbech. It also aims to reduce the need for patients to travel to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn or other emergency departments.
Practitioners will still assess and treat patients with an urgent condition, but they will be able to call on rapid GP support if required. No appointment is needed and opening hours remain the same (Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6pm).
A GP at the North Brink Practice said: “Wisbech MIU has always been a highly valued service for local residents and The North Brink Practice is pleased to be able to support the excellent nurse practitioners in their role to help to provide better, high quality, joined up urgent care for our patients.”
“Having access to a GP enables the MIU team to treat a wider range of conditions and prevent patients being referred to an alternative service such as ED or back to their GP for treatment.
“This will not only help improve patient experience but to ease pressure on urgent care services elsewhere too.”
Stephen Russell, lead nurse at the MIU, said: “We are very excited to have the opportunity to provide a more seamless service to our patients.
“Collaborating with primary care will enable us to increase the scope of conditions we are able to manage in the MIU with the support of GP access for those with urgent but not life threatening health concerns.
“Over time we hope to develop the service further and provide help and support to patients with a wider range of presenting complaints.”
GP support will be provided to the practitioner via the telephone, or if required patients will be referred to an ‘on call’ GP at North Brink Practice for further consultation and treatment.
In 2018, nearly 13,500 patients have used the Ely LUCS service - an increase of four per cent compared to 2016/17.