Enhanced Access – Public Statement

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Since 2019, Rutland’s GP Practices have worked together to deliver elements of healthcare via Rutland Health Primary Care Network. This allows the us to access funding from government contracts, designed for populations over 40,000 patients. 

As part of changes that are happening nationally, the surgeries submitted our Enhanced Access plans to the newly formed Integrated Care System (ICS) covering Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.  These services will begin on 1st October and aim to deliver improved access to patients with a particular aim of targeting long term health conditions and reducing health inequalities.

Rutland Health PCN conducted a survey during the months of July and August 2022, with an amazing 9,000 responses from residents. The results indicated that patients wanted appointments in surgeries close to where they live, with a mix of face to face and telephone appointments. The Rutland public also indicated that they wanted Phlebotomy, Cervical Smear clinics and Diabetes reviews on Saturdays.

National workforce funding has allowed the surgeries to recruit and train specialist senior clinicians, these clinicians have the skills to review and prescribe medications in various long-term conditions such as Hypertension, Asthma and COPD. By increasing our local workforce in this way, we can improve access to GPs for other “GP only” conditions.

The four Rutland surgeries will work together to deliver these new clinics by opening surgeries in the manner described below:

DaySite that is openHoursClinician
MondaySomerby Surgery18:30 – 20:00Local GP and Senior Clinician
TuesdayUppingham Surgery18:30 – 20:00Local GP and Senior Clinician
WednesdayOakham Medical Practice18:30 – 20:00Local GP and Senior Clinician
ThursdayEmpingham Medical Centre18:30 – 20:00Local GP and Senior Clinician
FridayNo open site18:30 – 20:00Remote GP and Senior Clinician
Saturday See belowRotational site opening09.00 – 17.00Phlebotomist (am only) Nurse Clinics (Smears, Diabetes) Supervised by remote GP
1st SaturdayOakham09.00 – 17.00Unused slots go to 111
2nd SaturdayUppingham09.00 – 17.00Unused slots go to 111
3rd SaturdayOakham09.00 – 17.00Unused slots go to 111
4th SaturdayEmpingham09.00 – 17.00Unused slots go to 111
5th SaturdaySee Practices and PCN websites09.00 – 17.00Unused slots go to 111

What services will be available during the Enhanced Access hours? Pre-bookable Appointments

  • In line with national guidance, only pre-booked appointments will be seen, with no ‘walk-in’ services for patients who are acutely unwell.
  • The surgeries will be open, and receptionists will be working to help you drop off letters and submit blood pressure reading measurements. 
  • The dispensary will not be open, prescription collection services remain unchanged.
  • Any specimen samples that are dropped off at the surgery, will not be processed until the next working day. Please do not expect any assessment of these samples until this time.
  • Phlebotomy will be available every Saturday, but only for Market Overton and Somerby Surgery, Oakham Medical Practice, and Uppingham Surgery patients. Empingham patients will still access Phlebotomy in the same way, by attending Stamford Hospital. This is because the blood samples collected on a Saturday will be processed by the Leicester laboratory, and the system at Empingham does not allow for these results to come back to the practice, as they process their blood samples at the Peterborough laboratory. Empingham Surgery has therefore received slightly more Senior Clinician time, to ensure equitable workforce allocations.

How does this affect the Acute Care services in the Area? – No change

  • 111 Services remain available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Oakham Medical Practice’s Minor Injuries Unit and the Oakham Urgent Care Centre at Rutland Memorial Hospital remain open with their services unchanged.
  • Corby (8-8) Urgent Care Centre and the local 24-hour A&E units (Peterborough, Kettering and Leicester) remain open with their services unchanged.

This is a small improvement in service, but every little step helps build better access to healthcare

These Enhanced Access clinics help improve services that are available to patients, helping you to see a clinician at more convenient times of the day. The increased numbers of clinicians working in Rutland helps improve overall access to healthcare but does not solve the national GP workforce crisis or the difficulty in recruiting GPs to Rutland.

Thank you to everyone who helped complete the Enhanced Access survey as your responses have helped shape the services we are now delivering.