NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

We want you to have more care closer to your home...

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How will the changes work?

How would the proposed changes work in real life?

To give you a better understanding of how accessing urgent care would work with the proposed changes, here are a number of example situations:

 

Choosing the right service at the weekend

Paul and the lads have been playing Sunday league football down at the park. He suffers a blow to the head when he goes in to tackle someone but there's no sign of blood and he gets straight back up. After the game, everyone heads to the pub but Paul mentions he's feeling a bit dizzy.

A friend calls NHS 111 for Paul and the operator recommends taking him to the Urgent Treatment Centre just to be safe and books him an appointment there for later that afternoon.

This is different from what happens now. Many people have told us it can be confusing knowing which urgent care service to choose especially at evenings and weekends. Paul’s friend might have done the right thing and called NHS 111 to be directed to the right service but some people prefer to travel and wait for care. But what if they choose the wrong service for the problem?

The proposed changes are all about simplifying this; if you call your GP practice or NHS 111, you will always be directed to the right place, first time.

 

Seeing the right professional when you need to

It's Tuesday morning and Mary takes her dog, Eric for a walk like she always does before work. She feels something twinge in her back as she bends over to take Eric's lead off. She can hardly stand upright and ends up having to call in sick to work.

Mary rests at home and takes some painkillers. She goes to work the next day but still feels really stiff and in pain by Friday at which point she rings her GP practice. The person who answers the phone offers her an urgent appointment with the physiotherapist at a local GP practice, for that same evening after work. The physio advises Mary how to manage her injury so she can walk Eric again.

This is different to what happens now. At the moment, Mary could be offered a telephone consultation or an appointment which might take a few days. Either way, Mary would then need to wait for a physiotherapy appointment and take more time off work when that appointment arrived because it was in the day time when Mary needs to be at work.

 

Continuing care at home

Gita is 72 and lives in Woodseats. She has diabetes and early onset of dementia but otherwise leads a very active life and makes her appointments to the practice every few weeks to see the nurse or podiatrist. When she develops a sudden bad headache one morning which doesn't ease off after a few hours, she calls the GP practice and they ask her if she can make it down to the practice for 4pm that day to see Dr Stuart who she knows well. Gita manages to walk as she only lives around the corner.

This is no different from now – but the new arrangements would mean that Gita would have more chance of seeing the GP she knows well for urgent needs like these, along with more time at that appointment for her GP to not only check what might have caused the headache but how she's doing otherwise in case any further care needs to be organised.

 

Caring for youngsters

Emily is worried about her 3 year old son Charlie as when they were in the park this morning he fell off the roundabout and his wrist has started to swell up. Emily takes Charlie to the Urgent Treatment Centre at Sheffield Children’s Hospital as she know they will deal with minor injuries there: this is different from what happens now.

Emily is impressed by the care Charlie receives as he is seen by nurses and doctors who specialise in dealing with children’s injuries and illnesses. It’s also a really child-friendly environment with toys for Charlie to play with while they were waiting, which really helped to distract him from the pain.

 

Connecting people to the right professionals

Li is in his third year at university. Since his early teens, he has suffered from a severe panic disorder which he manages well most days through medication and ongoing therapy. Li lives with friends who know about his condition and they remind him to use the self-help techniques given to him by his mental health team.

When Li experiences a sudden, serious panic attack one Saturday evening whilst out, his friend rings Abby, Li’s assigned care worker. Within the hour, Li and his friend are able to speak to someone in Abby’s team who assesses his situation and is able to advise over the phone.

This is no different from now – there are no changes to the way you access urgent care for mental health problems as part of this consultation. People already under the care of Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust will continue to ring the mental health professional assigned to their care or the 24-hour helpline.

 

Rebecca is anxiously searching for a new job. After being laid off in the summer, the financial strain is causing her to have sleepless nights, leaving her physically drained. A friend on Facebook reaches out to Rebecca when she posts a status about feeling helpless and suggests she contacts her GP. She’s apprehensive as she’s heard about long waiting times for mental health support.

The next morning, Rebecca reluctantly calls her GP practice and speaks to Dr Malvin over the phone. He is very supportive and contacts the Sheffield IAPT service. They contact Rebecca that same day and arrange a telephone assessment to discuss the best treatment options. They also arrange to meet with Rebecca face to face later that week at a local GP practice.

This is no different from now – there are no changes to the way you access urgent care for mental health problems as part of this consultation. Under the new arrangements though, access to urgent appointments with a GP to start these important mental health conversation would improve. Out of hours, people would be encouraged to call their GP practice or NHS 111 as is the case at the moment. The 24-hour out of hour helpline would assess your situation and give advice over the phone or arrange an urgent appointment.

 

Seeing a GP in your ‘neighbourhood’ rather than your own practice

On Wednesday morning John wakes up with a really sore throat and a fever. He doesn’t get ill often and has no other health problems but today he feels very unwell.

He calls his GP practice as he thinks he needs to see his doctor but discovers they have no appointments left this week. The receptionist tells John that they can arrange an urgent, same-day appointment at another local GP practice 10 minutes away so he can be seen quickly by the right clinician.This is different from what happens now.

John doesn’t mind that he can’t see his own GP, he just wants to be able to see a doctor and get the advice and treatment he needs. Booking in to a GP practice in one of his neighbouring practices means he doesn’t have to travel far and will be seen about his sore throat today.

 

Going to the Urgent Treatment Centre and being referred to A&E

Laura has had a headache for a couple of days which hasn’t gone away with painkillers. It’s a bank holiday so she decides to go to the new urgent treatment centre (UTC) at Northern General Hospital as she knows they treat minor illnesses and injuries and that they are open 365 days a year.

After waiting a short time Laura sees the nurse who asks her some questions about her symptoms and assesses her. The nurse is concerned that the headache could be something more serious and refers Laura to the A&E department so she can be seen in hospital. As A&E is only a short distance from the UTC Laura is taken over there to be seen without further delay: this is different from what happens now.

 

Seeing a mental health specialist in your area

Harry is 28 and works in a bank. He’s been under a lot of stress recently as his relationship with his girlfriend has broken down and he’s been told he’s being made redundant from his job.

At home one morning he starts feeling dizzy and his heart is racing. He feel like he can’t catch his breath and his chest is starting to tighten. He is really worried so he calls his GP practice. The receptionist arranges for a GP to ring Harry back. When the GP calls, Harry explains his symptoms, and the GP thinks this is a panic attack.

There is a mental health specialist working in the neighbourhood today and he will be at Harry’s GP practice seeing patients. The GP books Harry in that afternoon meaning that Harry can be seen quickly and by someone who specialises in mental health: this is different from what happens now.

 

Accessing GP appointments for Students

Student Priya has been having ear ache on and off for a few days. It’s a lot more intense this evening and it’s starting to affect her study.

Priya has only been in Sheffield for a few months after moving from Birmingham for University. She registered at her local GP practice in Sheffield when she arrived as she wanted to be able to access health services quickly and easily as it’s too far for her go back to her home town to see the GP if she gets ill. This is different from what happens now: all students will be encouraged to register at a Practice close to their University residence, and will then be able to see a GP within 24 hours.

As it’s the evening, Priya’s GP practice is closed so she calls NHS 111. She is offered an urgent appointment tomorrow at the GP practice. Priya is really happy she gets to see a GP within 24 hours and will hopefully be feeling better again very soon.

 

Telephone appointments with pharmacists

Muhammed has recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has been given some medication to take. He doesn’t think he has the correct amount and is confused about what he should be taking, which is making him worried.

He calls his GP practice to see if he can make an appointment with his doctor to discuss it. The receptionist asks Muhammed why he needs the appointment and he tells her it is about his diabetes medication. The receptionist offers Muhammed a telephone appointment with one of the ‘neighbourhood’ pharmacists: this is different from what happens now.

Later that day Muhammed speaks to the pharmacist and she explains what he has been prescribed and how often he needs to take his medication.

 

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

Headquarters
722 Prince of Wales Road
Sheffield
S9 4EU