GPs to work Christmas week to relieve A&E

The Bolton News: Dr Barry Silvert Dr Barry Silvert

TWO thirds of GP practices in Bolton will open on Boxing Day in a bid to drive down the number of admissions to A&E.

Thirty out of the 50 GP practices and 10 pharmacies have signed up to the new initiative to ease the pressure at the Royal Bolton Hospital on one of its busiest days of the year for admissions.

The NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says the new trial is for urgent appointments only and advises people to call the GP out of hours service number if they need treatment in the evening during the Christmas week or Boxing Day.

The 10 pharmacies will also be open to support practices and offer all patients expert advice, information, and ‘over the counter’ remedies, without an appointment.

Dr Barry Silvert, clinical director for integrated commissioning at the CCG, said: “NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to ensuring that patients are seen by the right person, at the right place and time.

“For more minor illnesses and injuries the right person can be a GP or a pharmacist.

“I advise everyone to note the opening times of their practice and local pharmacy over Christmas and New Year and to use these resources, along with the GP out of hours service, rather than attending A&E. Our A&E comes under significant pressure at this time of the year, so let’s keep it for those who really need it.”

The CCG will not be publishing a list of the practices to prevent patients turning up without an emergency appointment.

On Boxing Day, patient calls to the out of hours number will be re-directed to their own GP practice, if it is open.

At other times, and if a patient’s practice is not open, the usual GP out of hours service will be available. This can include a telephone consultation, an appointment with a doctor, or a home visit, as appropriate to the nature of the patient’s condition.

This new announcement comes on the back of the CCG’s winter plan, which sets out measures to manage the increased pressure on health and social care services during the winter months.

Part of this is a campaign that aims to help the people of Bolton make the right choice this winter when it comes to urgent health care, treatment, or advice.

Yet some critics say the initiative should have been launched earlier.

Andy Morgan, who sits of the health scrutiny committee, said: “I welcome the move to extend GP out of hours but it does seem a bit last minute.

“This has been the case with a lot of the winter planning this year.”

For more information, go online to the website: boltonhealthchoices.com.

The out-of-hours service can be reached on: 0161 763 8940.

Comments (6)

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7:05am Tue 24 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

well I bet there are not many nurses in the UK (or members of any other of the emergency services) who have not worked Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year seven years on the run until their rota came to Days Off!!!!!!!! In this day of high population in UK things have got to change. Sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but sickness is a 24/7 x 365 thing and with the pressure on A&E it falls to everybody to help out.
well I bet there are not many nurses in the UK (or members of any other of the emergency services) who have not worked Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year seven years on the run until their rota came to Days Off!!!!!!!! In this day of high population in UK things have got to change. Sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but sickness is a 24/7 x 365 thing and with the pressure on A&E it falls to everybody to help out. oftbewildered2

6:43pm Tue 24 Dec 13

brian1910 says...

Indeed we do need at 24/7 x 365 service.....but GP surgeries like the one I work for are stretched to breaking point coping with not essential stuff...........peop
le please stock up on medicines over xmas...........AMEN TO THE NHS!!!! we will miss it when its gone!!!
Indeed we do need at 24/7 x 365 service.....but GP surgeries like the one I work for are stretched to breaking point coping with not essential stuff...........peop le please stock up on medicines over xmas...........AMEN TO THE NHS!!!! we will miss it when its gone!!! brian1910

6:45pm Tue 24 Dec 13

brian1910 says...

meant stock medicine cabinets up
meant stock medicine cabinets up brian1910

11:30pm Tue 24 Dec 13

DoubleD74 says...

Instead of mocking the NHS lets applaud it. Seems that whether you're in the police, fire service etc we love having a dig. It's no wonder we're the laughing stock of other countries when our biggest critics are ourselves. Pathetic really.
Instead of mocking the NHS lets applaud it. Seems that whether you're in the police, fire service etc we love having a dig. It's no wonder we're the laughing stock of other countries when our biggest critics are ourselves. Pathetic really. DoubleD74

2:25pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Puffin-Billy says...

Spare us your crocodile tears on the NHS, please Councillor Morgan.

You know very well that it is the Conservative party which is behind the cuts which are putting a strain on GP services, by turning doctors into accountants on behalf of private healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.

The following article by a GP might enlighten you: (if indeed you genuinely care).



" It's been an amazing privilege working as a family doctor. I am trusted with the long-term care and health of sometimes four generations, and I have tried to help with their most intimate and complex problems, sometimes shared only with me. It's the best job in medicine, and the NHS was the best place to practice.

So why am I retiring early? Because for several years I've fought the dismantling of the founding principles of Bevan's NHS and on 1 April I lost. That was the day the main provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 came into effect. On Wednesday night, a last-gasp attempt in the House of Lords to annul the part pushing competitive tendering sadly failed.

The democratic and legal basis of the English NHS and the secretary of state's duty to provide comprehensive health services have now gone, and the framework that allows for wholesale privatisation of the planning, organisation, supply, finance and distribution of our health care is now in place. Since 1948, we GPs have been our patient's advocate, championing the care we judge is needed clinically.

Everyone necessary for that care co-operated for the good of the patient – they didn't compete for the benefit of shareholders. Sadly, patients are now right to be suspicious of motives concerning decisions made about them, which until recently, almost uniquely in the world, have been purely in their best clinical interest. Most politicians understand little about general practice, have no idea about the importance of continuity of care and blame GPs for a rise in hospital work, even though this is a direct result of their policies.

I believe patient choice is an illusion as I am restricted in terms of where I can refer and what treatments I can use. GPs are now expected to collude with rationing, are sent incomprehensible financial spreadsheets telling us our "activity levels" are too high and in some areas are prevented from speaking out about this, despite the government's weasel words about duty of candour after Mid Staffs. Practices are already being solicited by private companies touting for business, often connected to members of my own profession. But the lie that GPs are now in control of the money will soon be exposed. Most services are to go out to tender, which will paralyse decision-making.

Now your doctor, the hospital, your specialist or the employing company has a financial incentive built into the clinical decision-making – even whether or not you are seen at all. Your referral may be to a related company, with both profiting from your care – so was that operation, procedure or investigation really in your best clinical interest? Or you may be told a service is now no longer available. The jargon used is that "we are not commissioned for that". But you can pay. The elephant in the consulting room is the ethical implication of private medicine. In my 30 years as an NHS GP, some of the most disastrously treated patients are those who elected for private care. Decisions were made about them for the wrong reasons, namely profit. Patients are rarely aware of this.

The politicians who drive this unnecessary revolution claim the NHS is not being privatised because it is still free at the point of use. This is duplicitous as the two are not connected. They are ignorant or dismissive of the founding principles of the NHS which include it being universal and comprehensive – both of which have gone. The NHS logo appears on all sorts of private company buildings and notepaper which is one reason patients haven't noticed the change yet. Just leaving "free at the point of use" under an NHS kitemark doesn't constitute a national health service. It's now one small step to insurance companies picking up the bill (but obviously profiting from it) rather than the state. An Americanised system run by many US companies. The end of a "60-year-old mistake", as Jeremy Hunt once co-authored.

I am proud to have been an NHS GP. I believe the way a society delivers its healthcare defines the values and nature of that society. In the US, healthcare is not primarily about looking after the nation's health but a huge multi-company, money-making machine which makes some people extremely rich but neglects millions of its citizens. We are being dragged into that machine and I want no part in it.

The politicians responsible for this must live with their consciences, as it is the greatest failure of democracy in my lifetime."
Spare us your crocodile tears on the NHS, please Councillor Morgan. You know very well that it is the Conservative party which is behind the cuts which are putting a strain on GP services, by turning doctors into accountants on behalf of private healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. The following article by a GP might enlighten you: (if indeed you genuinely care). " It's been an amazing privilege working as a family doctor. I am trusted with the long-term care and health of sometimes four generations, and I have tried to help with their most intimate and complex problems, sometimes shared only with me. It's the best job in medicine, and the NHS was the best place to practice. So why am I retiring early? Because for several years I've fought the dismantling of the founding principles of Bevan's NHS and on 1 April I lost. That was the day the main provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 came into effect. On Wednesday night, a last-gasp attempt in the House of Lords to annul the part pushing competitive tendering sadly failed. The democratic and legal basis of the English NHS and the secretary of state's duty to provide comprehensive health services have now gone, and the framework that allows for wholesale privatisation of the planning, organisation, supply, finance and distribution of our health care is now in place. Since 1948, we GPs have been our patient's advocate, championing the care we judge is needed clinically. Everyone necessary for that care co-operated for the good of the patient – they didn't compete for the benefit of shareholders. Sadly, patients are now right to be suspicious of motives concerning decisions made about them, which until recently, almost uniquely in the world, have been purely in their best clinical interest. Most politicians understand little about general practice, have no idea about the importance of continuity of care and blame GPs for a rise in hospital work, even though this is a direct result of their policies. I believe patient choice is an illusion as I am restricted in terms of where I can refer and what treatments I can use. GPs are now expected to collude with rationing, are sent incomprehensible financial spreadsheets telling us our "activity levels" are too high and in some areas are prevented from speaking out about this, despite the government's weasel words about duty of candour after Mid Staffs. Practices are already being solicited by private companies touting for business, often connected to members of my own profession. But the lie that GPs are now in control of the money will soon be exposed. Most services are to go out to tender, which will paralyse decision-making. Now your doctor, the hospital, your specialist or the employing company has a financial incentive built into the clinical decision-making – even whether or not you are seen at all. Your referral may be to a related company, with both profiting from your care – so was that operation, procedure or investigation really in your best clinical interest? Or you may be told a service is now no longer available. The jargon used is that "we are not commissioned for that". But you can pay. The elephant in the consulting room is the ethical implication of private medicine. In my 30 years as an NHS GP, some of the most disastrously treated patients are those who elected for private care. Decisions were made about them for the wrong reasons, namely profit. Patients are rarely aware of this. The politicians who drive this unnecessary revolution claim the NHS is not being privatised because it is still free at the point of use. This is duplicitous as the two are not connected. They are ignorant or dismissive of the founding principles of the NHS which include it being universal and comprehensive – both of which have gone. The NHS logo appears on all sorts of private company buildings and notepaper which is one reason patients haven't noticed the change yet. Just leaving "free at the point of use" under an NHS kitemark doesn't constitute a national health service. It's now one small step to insurance companies picking up the bill (but obviously profiting from it) rather than the state. An Americanised system run by many US companies. The end of a "60-year-old mistake", as Jeremy Hunt once co-authored. I am proud to have been an NHS GP. I believe the way a society delivers its healthcare defines the values and nature of that society. In the US, healthcare is not primarily about looking after the nation's health but a huge multi-company, money-making machine which makes some people extremely rich but neglects millions of its citizens. We are being dragged into that machine and I want no part in it. The politicians responsible for this must live with their consciences, as it is the greatest failure of democracy in my lifetime." Puffin-Billy

7:18pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Puffin-Billy says...

" The CCG will not be publishing a list of the practices to prevent patients turning up without an emergency appointment."

But, surely if it IS an emergency, then A and E is the place to go
- not the GP's surgery?

Or can there be such a thing a a self diagnosed "...minor heart attack..." as suggested by a spin doctor on BBC radio".

It would appear that there is so much spinning of so-called NHS privatisation, err........"reforms" that those doing the spinning are suffering from a little dizziness.

Dr Barry Silvert, CCG clinical director of integrated commissioning, said in the BN on 11th December:

“People tell us they don’t always know where to go for help in Bolton when they are feeling poorly — there are too many choices."

But too many NHS Choices is the raison d’être of the NHS so-called "reforms" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!

Dr Barry Silvert appears not to be aware of the joint research programme between the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Nuffield Trust, which is intended to establish a long-term expertise in the use of competition and market mechanisms in health care in England and internationally.

And he appears not to be aware that it is the role of Monitor ( David Wakefield in Bolton NHS ) to promote choice and to defend competition within the NHS, with the eventual aim of privatising the whole darn lot !

The mayhem of the 111 service, er,,, debacle, is a sign of things to come under the NHS Choices philosophy.

Still........., the article was a nice little promo for someone's pharmaceutical products company, or local pharmacy.

I might say that - they couldn't possibly comment !
" The CCG will not be publishing a list of the practices to prevent patients turning up without an emergency appointment." But, surely if it IS an emergency, then A and E is the place to go - not the GP's surgery? Or can there be such a thing a a self diagnosed "...minor heart attack..." as suggested by a spin doctor on BBC radio". It would appear that there is so much spinning of so-called NHS privatisation, err........"reforms" that those doing the spinning are suffering from a little dizziness. Dr Barry Silvert, CCG clinical director of integrated commissioning, said in the BN on 11th December: “People tell us they don’t always know where to go for help in Bolton when they are feeling poorly — there are too many choices." But too many NHS Choices is the raison d’être of the NHS so-called "reforms" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! Dr Barry Silvert appears not to be aware of the joint research programme between the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Nuffield Trust, which is intended to establish a long-term expertise in the use of competition and market mechanisms in health care in England and internationally. And he appears not to be aware that it is the role of Monitor ( David Wakefield in Bolton NHS ) to promote choice and to defend competition within the NHS, with the eventual aim of privatising the whole darn lot ! The mayhem of the 111 service, er,,, debacle, is a sign of things to come under the NHS Choices philosophy. Still........., the article was a nice little promo for someone's pharmaceutical products company, or local pharmacy. I might say that - they couldn't possibly comment ! Puffin-Billy

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