The Health Secretary praised local GPs and Fareham and Gosport CCG for bringing a same day access services to Fareham Community Hospital. I asked Jeremey Hunt two questions during a debate on patient access to GPs in the House of Commons. In the first question I asked:
"What progress has his Department made on improving patient access to GPs?"
Mr Hunt responded:
"This Government have changed policy so that all NHS patients will be able to book routine GP appointments in the evening and at weekends. That is very important both for NHS patients and to relieve pressure on A&E departments."
I then responded with a follow up question, asking:
"In September, Jubilee surgery, Whiteley surgery, Stubbington medical practice and Highlands practice launched a same-day access scheme in Fareham, based at Fareham Community Hospital, which had the honour of welcoming the Secretary of State on a visit last year. It is commission-led and supported by Fareham Community Hospital taskforce. Will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating the GPs—including Dr Tom Bertram, who has taken the lead on this scheme—and Fareham and Gosport clinical commissioning group, and explain how patients will be able to access a GP in Fareham?"
The Health Secretary responded again:
"I was honoured to meet them, and Richard Samuel and his team have done a fantastic job in transforming services in a way that reduces pressure on local hospitals, but also improves services for local people. There was a real buzz there. I also note that neighbouring Gosport has made changes that have improved patient satisfaction to 90%, with 60% of issues being dealt with on the same day. So some really exciting things are happening."
The new same-day service, also referred to as Fareham Primary Care Service, will involve four GP practices in the borough – Highlands Practice in Fareham, Jubilee Surgery in Titchfield, Stubbington Medical Practice, and Whiteley Surgery – working together to provide the service. It will only be for patients registered at the four participating practices during the initially period, with the Fareham & Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) looking to expand if successful.
The service will operate by the patient first phoning their GP practice as normal and, if they ask for a same-day appointment they will be asked if their details can be shared with the service. Patients will be called back by the service in order of clinical priority with the nurse or GP having a detailed conversation with them. The patient may be given advice on how to take care of themselves, arrangements made for medication to be available at a pharmacy or an appointment offered.