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Newham medics share their successes with MPs and Peers

11:04 28 April 2014

Doctors from across the borough briefed MPs and Peers on how they tackled the pressures on health services during the winter months.

Steve Gilvin, the chief officer of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group addressed the All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health, chaired by Baroness Sue Masham, Kevin Barron MP and Nick de Bois MP. He shared the learning and achievements from a number of key projects in Newham designed to relieve pressure on A&E departments.

This included a ‘Pharmacy First’ streaming project. Patients at GP practices and the urgent care centre at Newham General Hospital who are suffering from certain minor ailments are now given a prescribing number that they are able to take directly to a pharmacy. This allows them to access the advice and treatment that they need straight away, avoiding a long wait to see a clinician and freeing up GP appointments.

Steve Gilvin said: “It was great to be able to share our knowledge and experiences with MPs, peers and national organisations.

“The winter months are always a challenging time for the NHS. No single organisation can deal with the extra demand so we all have to work together. That’s why it’s so important that we come together and share what we know works, so that we can keep improving in the future.”

Steve also spoke about a GP streamer project at the urgent care centre, which enables patients to see the most appropriate clinician as quickly as possible and reduces the burden on the emergency department.

To ensure that patients receive the right treatment for them, Newham residents are also being encouraged to call the GP out of hours service or NHS 111 before going to A&E.

The extended GP hours service in Newham was given as an example of the benefits of GP federation (GPs working together) and the importance of support from CCG in moving such projects forward. Around 60 per cent of the calls received by the GP out of hours service can be dealt with through a phone consultation with clinical advice and information about self-care. This helps to free up pressure on emergency departments and GP surgeries.

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