Steve Hugh Award
Further to your article of the 5th November, “One year reprieve for out-of-hours doctors service in Ludlow”
At Shropdoc we are very pleased, as I am sure are many of your readers, that the commissioners have made the decision to enable Shropdoc to continue delivering high quality, value for money clinician led care out of hours until 2015 when the 111 service will be re-tendered. During that period Shropdoc intends to continue with a local doctor and nurse led response to the calls we receive from the public.
In your article you quoted Philip Dunne who noted that the interim provider of 111, WMAS is using NHS Pathways, the preferred NHS 111 type of triage. NHS Pathways is an assessment tool undertaken by a trained operator for triaging telephone calls from the public, based on the symptoms they report when they call. Philip Dunne is correct in saying that we don’t currently use this system at Shropdoc, our preferred method is still to use local GPs and nurses to undertake this triage.
Contrary to Mr Dunne’s assertion, it is entirely possible for Shropdoc to train our staff to use NHS pathways. But surely the more pertinent question Mr Dunne should address is not can Shropdoc be brought up to NHS 111 standards but can NHS 111 reach the quality of service that Shropdoc has been delivering for over 17 years. The same level of service that we re-introduced after NHS 111 failed in February.
We work very closely with our colleagues at WMAS and only expect that relationship to strengthen as we continue to work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for the people we serve.