Extra GP appointments helping to keep people at home and out of hospital this winter

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Primary care hubs

New primary care hubs have opened across Cornwall, offering on the day appointments for people needing urgent care for acute minor illness. There are 8 hubs open so far (late January 2024) with more to follow.

The hubs will provide extra appointments that GP surgeries can direct some of their patients to attend, according to set criteria. 

The new concept aims to ease urgent on the day demand on general practice, allowing practices to focus on patients with long-term conditions.

The hubs are conveniently located across the county. Current locations are Launceston, Bodmin, St Austell, Truro, Mount Hawke, Redruth, Helston and St Ives.

How are patients referred to the hubs?

Patients who contact their GP surgery for an appointment will be triaged and booked an appointment at a suitably located primary care hub.

You can’t just turn up; you will need to have had an appointment made by your GP surgery.

What do the hubs provide?

The primary care hubs are run by health professionals including a GP or another experienced healthcare practitioner with minor illness experience, who will offer advice and onward care including issuing prescriptions. 

Spotlight on: the Bodmin primary care hub

  • Opened in December, and has seen nearly 200 patients. 
  • Based within Bodmin Community Hospital, offers an X-ray service and specialises in respiratory issues, including people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If needed, patients may be referred into a virtual ward where they will receive NHS care from the comfort of their own home.
  • Patients are referred to the hub from local GP surgeries.

The hubs are just one element of a wider winter plan for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s health and care system which also includes:

  • extra places in Community Assessment and Treatment Units, which provide same day assessment to keep people from being admitted to hospital
  • one-off personal health budgets to cover costs to help a person leave hospital
  • additional investment into local community support, including the Community Gateway telephone service and over 50 community hubs

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