Funding has been agreed by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG to extend the Local Urgent Care Services (LUCS) pilots in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland for a further year.
Over the past year, the CCG has been working alongside local services and clinicians to help provide better access to urgent care services for local residents, to improve patient experience, and to ease pressure on A&E departments.
This includes the launch of the Ely Local Urgent Care Services (LUCS) Hub pilot, where GPs are now working alongside nurse practitioners in Ely MIU to provide a ‘one-stop’ service for patients with minor illnesses and injuries.
Local GP, Dr Alex Manning, said “This is great news for local services. The Ely LUCS pilot has shown promising signs, and now we can explore how we can expand this service further.
“GP workforce and recruitment remains a challenge locally. However, a number of new staff have been recruited to start in September which will help to ensure reliability of the service. Should there be any reduction or change in services available, we will ensure patients are made aware of this and of the alternative local services available during that time.”
Over the past year, nearly 13,500 patients have used the Ely LUCS service – an increase of 4 per cent compared to 2016/17. Patient feedback has been positive, with two-thirds of patients seen and treated at the Ely LUCS hub with no follow-up appointment required.
Learning from the Ely experience, work also continues to develop local urgent care services for Wisbech and for the South Fenland area.
Dr Manning added “We are working with GPs in Wisbech and North Cambs MIU to look at the best way for services to work collaboratively. Various options have been considered, and it is hoped that this new service will start later in the year.”
There are also a number of new initiatives in place in South Fenland to help ease pressure on nurses and GPs. For example, as part of the ‘Time to Care’ project, a large number of receptionists have been trained as ‘Care Navigators’ so that patients can be directed to the most appropriate service, and to help reduce demand on GPs. New systems have also been introduced for managing correspondence, which frees up GP time.
Information on opening hours and minor illnesses and injurues that can be treated at MIUs can be found at: http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/services/minor-injury-units.htm