Impact of the Closure of the Walk In Centre at Accrington Victoria Hospital
- Meeting of Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 21st March, 2019 10.00 am (Item 371.)
A report to be submitted by the CCG to update Members on the closure of the Walk In Centre at Accrington Victoria Hospital.
Alex Walker and Lisa Cunliffe, Community Care Group, gave a presentation on the impact of the closure of the Walk-In Centre, Accrington Victoria Hospital.
Lisa Cunliffe, Primary Care Development Manager reported on the transition from the Walk-In Centre to a GP Extended Service and Care Navigation after the closure of the Walk-In Centre.
She referred to the background to the decision to close the Walk-In Centre and the amount of work carried out by the CCG in 2015/16 in engaging with the local population to ask for their views. She reported that groups across East Lancashire had supported the closure and that services throughout East Lancashire had not been consistent. She referred to ways in which people had wanted to improve services including the ability to pre-book appointments, the continuity of care, access to medical records away from the GP surgery and access to better information and services. She outlined the principle of the new model of health care provision and reported that running alongside the new model were the national requirements of GP extended access. She also referred to analysis of the impact on other local health services once the Walk In Centre had been closed. Alex Walker provided details of this and pointed out that their predictions had been relatively accurate with provision in place to meet demand.
Lisa Cunliffe referred to Care Navigation and the provision that had been put in place to provide this service.
Members asked for the following information:
· How people would be able to attend appointments away from their normal GP surgeries, especially as there was a lack of bus service.
· How many GP Practices in Hyndburn offer Out-of-Hour services?
· If frontline healthcare staff had been adequately trained to provide the services being offered?
· Had there been an increase in the number of GPs appointed to deal with the additional services?
· Did the new system provide adequate accessibility to health care services?
· Had the impact been measured on the Royal Blackburn Hospital Urgent Care service?
· How was the former Walk-in Centre being used now?
· Had job roles changed since the introduction of the new health care model?
· Concern about accepting appointment from doctors outside the current area.
· Concerns about some items on repeat prescription not being available.
· A request for the personnel breakdown of the CCG membership.
· Had the staff from the Walk-In Centre been redeployed?
· Booking out of hours appointments was still difficult to do and some patients had never been offered the opportunity to do this. There was also no access to medical records.
· Concern that the figures provided with regards to the success of the new healthcare model did not accurately reflect the actual service provided and that the provision of services was limited.
· An increase in housing provision in the borough would have an impact on the amount of healthcare required.
· An increase in digital services could mean that some patients may feel that services could be out of their reach.
· There was a variance in access to prescription items by different pharmacies across the borough.
Members were provided with responses to the above queries as follows:
Members were informed that patients would not have to accept appointments anywhere they were not able to attend and that most would be allocated within their own area. Lisa Cunliffe reported that all GP Practices should supply out of hour services and that the provision of this would be monitored. She reported that all frontline staff had attended rigorous training and would be able to provide the services offered. She also reported that there was a large pool of GPs who worked on a rota system and that this allowed them to cope with the demands of the new system. In respect of accessibility to a GP she reported that the NHS was under immense strain and that work was taking place behind the scenes to ensure that adequate provision was available. In respect of some Pharmacies having difficulty in providing prescription items she reported that she would speak to the relevant authority in respect of this. She informed the Committee that hospital had access to a summary of a patient’s medical records and not the full record so would need to verify the patient’s needs before treating them.
Alex Walker reported that additional services were planned to ensure adequate healthcare provision for the proposed additional housing provision in the borough. He reported that some prescription items were cheaper to buy over the counter rather than get them on prescription.
Resolved (1) That the CCG works with GP Surgeries to help raise awareness amongst patients of the availability of appointments through the Extended Hours Service;
(2) That the CCG investigates the potential variances in accessing prescription items through pharmacies; and
(3) That the CCG be requested to provide Councillors with information relating to the medicines no longer available on prescription.