NHS Direct has developed a service that improves patient access to same day appointments in Cheshire.
This assists GPs in managing their same day appointment system and home visiting service, both of which place pressure on their clinical time.
NHS Direct, together with the staff from the primary care centre, work efficiently to ensure that referrals to the GPs for same day appointments and home visits are from patients who have a true medical need.
Where patients can safely be treated through self care, NHS Direct nurses work with them to ensure they are supported to look after themselves in their own home.
Through this process, those patients who truly need to the see their GP can access a same day appointment and receive appropriate treatment.
Feedback from both patients and professionals has been positive since the start of the scheme. Additionally, by improving access to this primary care centre over time, there will also be a reduction in emergency admissions. This demonstrates that NHS Direct can successfully contribute within this area.