Local NHS makes it quicker and easier to get better urgent care

26 November 2018

Shorter waiting times, better health advice over the phone and improved, more appropriate care are some of the benefits patients will enjoy following a decision by local GP groups earlier this month.

The changes come after the NHS listened to feedback from thousands of local people, who told us they find it confusing to know where to go when they are ill and their GP practice is closed. Information on why people visit our very busy A&Es when it is not an emergency was also considered.

People from Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, will be able to avoid long waits to be seen by a doctor or nurse when they need urgent medical advice or treatment.

Rather than walking-in and waiting, for what can be hours, to be seen, people will now call NHS 111 to book a same day appointment at one of 10 locations around the area.

For those who prefer to walk-in and wait, improvements are also being made to services at four of these locations so that they will be open at least 12 hours a day, every day, and be equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common non-emergency ailments people attend A&E for.

Dr Arnold Fertig, an independent GP for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups said:

“When you’re feeling unwell or are injured the last thing you want to do is try to work out where you should go for treatment, or sit for hours in a waiting room to be seen. So to make it easier for people to get the treatment they need quickly, all you need to do is phone NHS 111.

“Our new, enhanced NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service, means it’s quick and easy to book a same day appointment or speak to an expert if needed, such as GPs or nurses, who are an integral part of the service – and it will often mean you receive the same advice or treatment as you would if you visited an urgent care service.”

“NHS 111 is free to use, open 24 hours a day, provides a translation service, and is also available online, making it accessible to all those in our community. Getting professional advice from NHS 111 before you head down to an urgent treatment centre will mean you will get the right care in the right place, first time – which is better for local people and will help reduce pressure on our busy A&Es and GPs.”

In response to local feedback, we’ve also committed to making better use of Loxford Polyclinic in Redbridge. A project group will look at how we bring more services into the building including GP practices and community health services.

Find out more about these improvements on your local Clinical Commissioning Group website.

The CCGs will begin procuring the service and will confirm the potential start date for the new service as soon as is possible. It will not be before October 2019.