By Local Democracy Reporter
A PILOT scheme redirecting patients from A&E to a GP based inside Basildon Hospital is not working.
NHS bosses funded the system amid claims up to 40% of UK patients were arriving at A&E units with minor symptoms.
A nurse and GP section was set up at Basildon Hospital in December 2017, seven days a week from 9am to 11pm. But some days just nine patients used the service, Basildon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Board was told yesterday (Thursday).
Members were asked to consider scrapping the scheme from March 31 as the same doctor, nurse and administrator could have dealt with 100 patients in a GP surgery.
But several GPs, nurses and officers objected, pointing to success at Southend Hospital, where more than 45 patients a day are using the service.
The board’s chief nurse and acting chief officer, Lisa Allen, said: “We have to have it. We have to have primary care streaming. It just needs some tweaks.”
Dr Julia Hale, consultant for secondary care, suggested possible staffing issues at Basildon Hospital meant the scheme was not working.
She said: “The same model is overworking in Southend. A member of clinical staff is clearly not happy with model at Basildon, and that is influencing the way it works.
“If the framework is working elsewhere, it’s an implementation issue.
“It’s about performance monitoring.
“What monitoring is going on at the moment? We need something quite robust.”
Katherine Kirk MBE, board lay member and governance committee chair, questioned whether staff working with the scheme.
“So Basildon Hospital is not co-operating? The problem is not the model. It’s the hospital. Am I right?”
Board Deputy chair Tony Cox replied: “There’s a blockage in the Basildon Hospital nurse assessment,” to which Ms Kirk replied: “They don’t want to do it.”
Board members questioned why they were funding a hospital service, but it was explained that the CCG was responsible for “front door hospital services” in Essex.
Board chair Dr Arv Guniyangodage said an urgent review was necessary, but agreed a suspension should be put on hold.
A majority of members agreed not to suspend the service, but to make checks with Basildon Hospital and report back in two months on how it is working.