Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I can hardly believe that 2019 is nearly over already! As we approach the new year, I am intrigued to see what will unfold following the General Election and how it will affect the future of the NHS.

General Practice is facing extreme pressure, namely the falling number of full-time GPs, and record high demand for GP appointments. Patients are increasingly attending A&E for non-urgent issues. NHS England estimate that up to three million of those who attended A&E could have been treated using other urgent care services.

To help alleviate the workload at Ipswich Hospital, are developing a new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). The UTC will be led by GPs who will diagnose and treat common ailments for which patients mistakenly end up in A&E.

So, will the new Urgent Treatment Centre at Ipswich Hospital help?

I hope so. Like General Practice, the current A&E model is unsustainable.

The key message from me is that the Urgent Treatment Centre is based on a primary care model and leadership.

If the option to decline and redirect patients is available and used correctly, then I think the care-navigation skills of primary care administrators could be valuable in decreasing the workload. The UTC could also be a valuable training location. We have the opportunity for an excellent resource.

Why not try working in Urgent Care

Personally, I have really enjoyed the chance to work in different GP settings and to meet with colleagues from across the County in a well-supported environment. I know some colleagues have a preference for OOH, GP+ or ED streaming, but for me, the variety and flexibility of time slots works well.

If you haven’t worked in urgent care for a while – why not give it a try? It might be that you’ve been meaning to but not got around to it – HR are ready to help make the process as smooth as possible. 

And finally, I would like to wish everyone a happy and restful Christmas, and a happy New Year. I look forward to seeing what other exciting challenges the Fed tackles in the year ahead.

Dr Ruth Bushaway, Medical Director