GP surgeries set to stay open later

Changes to health services in Erewash will see a new GP service and Ilkeston Community Hospital’s minor injuries unit closed overnight.

NHS Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says the plans will ease the strain on A&E and will mean patients have greater access to a GP, with services available from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays and potentially 8am to 8pm at weekends, depending on demand.

A new model of care will be piloted in October, which would result in a new GP service in the early evening and weekends and the minor injuries unit (MIU) being open between 8am and 10pm with the opening hours reducing from October.

Currently patients have no access to out of hours care between 6.30pm and 8pm during the week when GP surgeries are closed and there are limited services at the weekends.

Some people are finding it difficult to get a GP appointment and people are visiting the accident and emergency department at hospital when it is not the best place to be seen.

Dr Avi Bhatia, chair of NHS Erewash CCG said: “Our new model for out-of-hours care will result in a better use of the funds available for these services, better use of staff time and improved access for patients.

“The aim of the pilot service is to avoid unnecessary hospital attendances by providing a local service in the community.”

“Clearly, we need to address the gap in the out of hours services that are currently being provided and the MIU being kept open overnight for an average of four patients a night is not the best use of our resources.”