More than 24,000 people have been welcomed to the care of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – in a move health leaders say secures ‘important’ local services.
Commissioned by North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the trust will become a ‘caretaker manager’ for three GP surgeries based in Grangewood, Staveley and Inkersall.
They will still be able to see the same GPs, their prescription arrangements will continue and they’ll use the same contact details to make appointmentsDr Gail Collins
It is the first time primary and secondary care has been integrated locally in this way and health bosses say offers the opportunity to create a different way of working that will benefit patients.
Said the Royal’s medical director Dr Gail Collins: “Royal Primary Care will continue to provide patients with a full range of services from routine GP appointments to a flu-jab in the winter.
“And as well as welcoming patients, we are also delighted to welcome the GPs that work at these surgeries, along with their support staff – all of them will be part of our team from May 15th. One of our first priorities is to attract more GPs to come and work with them – and us. We want to make sure we improve the services and care patients receive and that we can meet rising demand.”
The Royal is running a dedicated enquiry line for patients until 8pm on Sunday.
Hundreds of calls have already been taken and Dr Collins says that most patients are looking for reassurance that they still have access to GP care.
“To put people’s minds at rest they don’t have to re-register – their care will automatically transfer,” she said.
“They will still be able to see the same GPs, their prescription arrangements will continue and they’ll use the same contact details to make appointments. Some people are under the impression they have to come to the Royal Hospital for their appointments, but their GPs will be working from the three surgeries at Inkersall, Staveley and Grangewood.”
Royal chief executive Gavin Boyle said the trust was ‘looking forward to bringing GP, primary care and hospital services together in ways that will benefit all our patients’.
He said: “We’re already looking at ways we can strengthen what’s available at the three surgeries and we hope that patients will share their experiences, and work with us, to bring about change and improvement.”
Patients from the practice will automatically transfer to the Royal from today to make sure there is continuity of care.
Letters have been sent to them from the commissioning group and NHS England to explain why the changes have come about and what to if they have appointments or queries.
The hospital has also sent a welcome letter, setting out what it wants to achieve – with the overall aim of providing high-quality, safe services, that meet people’s needs.
“We appreciate that this new venture might come as a surprise to patients,” said Mr Boyle. “But I’d like to give them the assurance that, with more than 30 years of knowledge and experience in local health care, both at the hospital and in the community, we will make sure they are well-cared for and looked-after.”