Health chiefs are planning radical changes to the way GP practices work in North Derbyshire.
Surgeries are under greater pressure than ever as they battle to meet the growing demands of an ageing population with complex health needs against a backdrop of funding that is not keeping pace with inflation.
Now, NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is drawing plans for a major shakeup that could see practices joining forces to help each other.
Patients will be able to make themselves heard on big changes in the pipeline by attending two public meetings organised by the CCG, which plans and buys healthcare for nearly 290,000 people.
Patients attending the meetings will be asked for their views on:
Practices merging, or working together to offer appointments
Using technology to make it easier to get an appointment
Offering home visits at different times of the day.
The CCG will also seek feedback on arranging appointments differently for patients needing a one-off consultation than for people with a long-term condition.
The first meeting will take place on Monday 25 November at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium from 5pm to 7pm and will be followed on Monday 2 December by a session in The Octagon at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens from 2pm to 4pm.
Opinions expressed at the events will be used by the CCG to shape a bid for money announced by the Government to make primary healthcare more efficient and accessible.
Dr Ben Milton, Chair of NHS North Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Health services are under more strain than ever before, and doing nothing is not an option. We need to work more cleverly if we’re to provide what patients want while achieving value for money.
“That’s why it’s more important than ever for patients to tell us what’s really important to keep in their GP practice and what they’d like to see changed.
“We’d like people to let us know how far they’d be prepared to travel for an appointment on the day they want it or to have an appointment with the healthcare professional they most want to see.
“We also want people to have their say on plans for practices to open seven days a week, bearing in mind that it won’t be possible for every surgery to be open every day.”
“This is the public’s chance to tell us how they want GP practices to meet their needs at a time when pressure on resources has never been greater,” Dr Milton explained.
To book a place at either event, email email@example.com or call her on 01246 514382. Alternatively, you can write to her at North Derbyshire CCG, FREEPOST SF1298, Scarsdale, Nightingale Close, Newbold Road, Chesterfield S41 7PF.