GP scheme would make it easier and quicker to get an appointment according to health group

Emergency patients will be able to see a doctor quicker under a new proposal that would mean GP practices in 16 areas across Sheffield working together.

The Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Grouping (SCCG) initiative follows concerns that the city was highly likely to experience a shortage of doctors and nurses during the next few years.

Under the proposal, patients would be able to access other GP practices in their areas on the same day, instead of waiting for appointments at their registered surgeries.

During a consultation meeting held on Wednesday, the SCCG’s deputy director, Kate Gleave, said the change would make it “simpler for patients to understand” and will make “more effective use of staff.”

This would be for patients with urgent care, which refers to “a sudden healthcare problem that needs an appointment within 24 hours with a healthcare professional but is not life-threatening.” This includes people with physical and mental health issues, including minor injuries and illnesses plus urgent eye care.

– A previously-announced idea to close the Broad Lane walk-in centre and the Minor Injuries Unit at the Hallamshire Hospital and create a new service at the Northern General Hospital caused backlash at the meeting.

People were concerned about traffic and parking issues around the hospital, especially people from the south and south-west of the city.

One lady at the meeting, from that area, said: ‘‘Last time, it took me two hours to get there on bus.’’

Ms Gleave said: “This is clearly something that we need to take into consideration. In reality, not everyone is going to be happy but we are trying to improve the service for the majority of the population.’’