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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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£520,000 to improve patients’ GP access in Workington

Family doctors in Workington have been given £511,292 to improve access to care for patients from a special £50m fund launched by David Cameron.

Niall McGreevy photo
Dr Niall McGreevy

The funding package comes from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund which aims to give patients greater access to GP services with the introduction of a new primary care assessment centre. This will offer same-day appointments, 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, for acute problems and minor injuries.

Workington was chosen as one of seven towns across the north of England to pilot the project which will also see more GP-led clinics available at the town’s community hospital after a bid for funding led by Dr Niall McGreevy, Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group GP Lead for Allerdale,

Doctors in Workington will also be to do more minor surgery aimed at reducing the need for patients to travel to hospital in Whitehaven and Carlisle for such treatment.

A new team led by specialist staff will be established, providing dedicated services for elderly residents in local care homes, offering proactive care including scheduled visits, care planning, end of life care and medication reviews.

A new frailty assessment unit at the community hospital will offer rapid assessment by community geriatricians closer to home, rather than traditional out-patient appointments, including urgent assessments, diagnostics and home visits.

Christine Keen, director of commissioning for the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear area team of NHS England, said: “I am delighted this project has been successful in its bid to improve health services for people in Workington.

“Access to medical facilities and seeing the right healthcare professional is vital in getting treated properly and improving the chance of recovery.

“The changes to services outlined in the project and joining up key health organisations will certainly help to improve the health outcomes in Workington.”

Dr McGreevy said: “It’s been a massive piece of work to get these plans together and it’s really exciting to find out we’ve won the bid. Patients have been telling us that they want to be able to see a GP more easily, they want care that wraps around their needs and they want to have a choice of how they interact with their doctor and their other health professionals. This is exactly what our plans will offer.”

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