New urgent care team for Ivybridge community
A new multi-skilled community health team is operating in the Ivybridge area to support patients with urgent care issues – reducing demand on the local Accident and Emergency Department in Plymouth.
The team offers same-day urgent care appointments – where appropriate following a telephone assessment – for patients with conditions such as respiratory problems, chest or back pains, diabetes and ongoing chronic diseases.
The urgent care clinical team includes an urgent care doctor, duty doctor, advanced paramedic practitioner, clinical pharmacist and advanced nurse practitioner and is based at Ivybridge Medical Centre, part of Beacon Medical Group.
Patients from Highlands Health Centre or Ivybridge Medical Centre ring their surgery’s reception if they believe they have an urgent care matter and the urgent care clinical team aim to contact them back within an hour, where appropriate. If the matter is deemed urgent they will be offered a same-day appointment, otherwise they will be offered a routine appointment.
Dr Matthew Funnell, Urgent Care Team Lead, said: “This is a fast, responsive service offering treatment and support for a variety of urgent care issues in the community.
“Where appropriate, patients can get quick advice and support for their urgent care health needs from a clinical expert over the phone or a same-day appointment in the GP surgery.
“This new way of working means people are treated in the community without the need and the distress of being transferred to hospital unless it is necessary.
“However, I must stress that this new service is for urgent care issues only. If patients are assessed as non-urgent they will be offered a routine appointment.
“And the service isn’t a substitute for A&E – for serious or life-threatening conditions patients should call 999 – but it helps reduce the demand on inappropriate attendance or admissions there.“