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Same Day Access: A new service giving patients help when it’s needed

At the start of June, a new service for patients at GP practices across Gosforth and Jesmond was launched.

The service – Same Day Access – makes more appointments available to patients who need to be seen as soon as possible.

Read on below or use the buttons to jump to sections to learn about the new service, how it works, and how it benefits patients and GP practices.

What is Same Day Access (SDA)?

As the name suggests, it’s a service for people with an illness or condition that needs to be seen that day.

This is what we call acute illness. Something serious enough that we wouldn’t want you to wait to be seen but not so severe that you should go to A&E or call an ambulance.

Typical examples include significant coughs, ear or skin infections, tonsilitis or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

People might have previously seen a GP for some things, but other highly skilled clinicians can handle them.

Why has this been introduced?

It’s not news to anyone that demand for NHS services has never been higher – hitting over 32 million appointments last October and staying at high levels ever since.

The SDA service will mean more people are seen sooner.

It has been developed, trialled, and launched by our Jesmond Lower Gosforth Primary Care Network team.

Working closely with the GP practices in Gosforth and Jesmond, the flexible and responsive Same Day Access team are available to help patients.

How it works

From the patients’ point of view, it starts the same as any other appointment request.

You still contact us directly about your issue, and one of our practice clinical team will decide if you need to be seen today.

If you do, you may be offered an appointment with the SDA team at our network hub rather than at the practice.

All appointments are held at Jesmond Health Partnership’s surgery at 200 Osborne Road in Jesmond.

Once booked, we will send you confirmation of your appointment time, along with information on how to get there, where to park and what to do when you arrive.

You do not have to accept an SDA appointment when offered, but choosing to see a Doctor or other preferred clinician at the practice may mean waiting longer.

Who are appointments with?

Our Same Day Access team includes Advance Nurse Practitioners, Advanced Paramedic Practitioners, and an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner.

The team is highly trained, with the skills and experience to provide first-class care to patients. They can assess, diagnose, and manage various conditions or illnesses.

The team also carry out home visits for our housebound population, so who you see will depend upon the visit requests and staff availability.

What happens at the appointment?

The SDA team has access to our practice clinical system and will be aware of any long-term conditions, allergies, and medications.

Once they have assessed you, they will discuss what is best to do next.

Depending on your needs, this could be treating yourself at home, visiting a pharmacist, arranging a referral to another NHS service, or arranging a hospital admission.

Some team members are prescribers, so if you need medication, they can arrange for it to be sent to your regular pharmacist for collection.

And because the SDA team have full access to our systems, the record of their appointment and any medicine or other follow-up will also be put on your notes, so next time you see a member of staff here at the practice, they’ll be up to speed with your medical history.

Why you might not be offered an SDA appointment

Additional services like this are designed to ensure people with the greatest need are seen soonest.

To do this, clinical staff use their judgement to prioritise who is seen, when and where.

You may or may not be offered a same day access appointment based on your situation, the number of other patients needing help and the urgency of their issue, and the capacity of the team who also manages home visits.

We’ve mentioned some of the common issues that the team of Advanced Practitioners can deal with. But, of course, in some cases, you will need to be seen in practice by a GP.

The service runs for all seven practices in Gosforth and Jesmond, so it must be efficient and used appropriately. Appointment slots are filled at the discretion of each practice.

They won’t be available for patients to book directly through the NHS App or online, nor is it a walk-in service. Appointments will be offered to patients based on availability, demands and clinical need.

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