Chair's blog

GP hubs making a big impact

26 October 2016

Back in July we published an article about re-focusing A&E on emergencies only. In it we talked about the results of a trial at Queen’s Hospital, which found that one in three people in our A&E departments did not need to be there. This shows that it is becoming ever more important for patients to know about the range of services available to them, especially because by 2021 the population of Redbridge is predicted to increase by around 40,000 people.

As a GP I understand that traditional practice hours won't always fit with people's busy working and family lives, but what some people may not know is that A&E isn’t the only option for those who urgently need medical care. We have three GP hubs in Redbridge - based in Newbury Park, Barkingside and South Woodford - which all offer same day appointments until 10pm on weekdays, 5pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday. If you are registered with a GP in Redbridge you can call 020 3770 1888 to make an appointment.

In the last year alone the hubs have provided more than 29,000 urgent GP appointments to residents, and the feedback we’ve had from patients has been excellent. I am sure the continued success of Redbridge's three hubs will be welcome news to our busy A&E Doctors and nurses, who are freed up to focus on the most severe emergencies.

I would encourage everyone living in Redbridge to check that you’re using the right service for your needs, be it a GP (via the hubs or your own GP practice), 24/7 advice over the phone from the NHS 111 service, advice on how to care for minor ailments from your local pharmacist, or A&E if you really need it. By choosing the correct service we can all help our local NHS to provide the best quality care at the right time.