News : Praise for 111 Service But Isle of Wight NHS Needs to Improve Urgent Care
Isle of Wight, UK, May, 2017 -- The Isle of Wight's NHS 111 service has been praised by inspectors for being safe and effective, while the walk-in section of the Urgent Care Service requires improvement, a report published revealed.
The news comes a month after the trust was placed in special measures by NHS Improvement.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the 111 call service as good in areas of safety, effectiveness, being caring, and being responsive, but said the leadership required improvement.
Islanders have been encouraged by the trust to call 111 before turning up to the Urgent Care Service - formerly the Beacon Centre.
Chris Smith, clinical director for ambulance, urgent care and community services and head of the ambulance service at the trust, said: "In the last five years over 300,000 people have called the NHS 111 service on the Isle of Wight.
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"It is increasingly the first point of call for people seeking advice about healthcare issues when they need an urgent response but it's not an emergency.
"It's fantastic news that the CQC have rated the service good which is a credit to all the staff who provide the service."
The CQC found that the walk-in section of the Urgent Care Service was responsive and the were staff caring, but the effectiveness of the service was inadequate and safety and leadership required improvement.
Staff shortages were highlighted, and inspectors said at times there were no GPs available to speak to patients who needed medical advice.
Dr Mark Pugh, executive medical director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: "As a trust we're working really hard to ensure that the trust's services improve rapidly to meet the concerns identified by the CQC in April.
"We will be looking closely at the inspection report and ensuring that the actions we are taking following the previous report fully embrace the areas identified in this latest report."
The CQC said the trust must make the following improvements:
• Develop systems to ensure the quality of the service, including clinical audits to improve patient outcomes.
• All nursing staff, including agency and bank staff must be properly trained for their roles, with regular appraisals for all.
• Staffing levels must be maintained to deliver the service.
Ruth Rankine, deputy chief inspector of general practice, said: "To their credit, we have found the NHS 111 service to be good.
"But, during this inspection we also found that the service provided by the walk in centre was not effective, well led or as safe as it should be.
"In particular we found there were gaps in staffing; on some occasions there were no GPs available to see patients who needed medical advice and there were not always enough reception staff.
"This placed a risk to patient care and the overall running of the service."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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NHS Direct is a 24 hour health advice and information service provided by the National Health Service (NHS) in England. NHS Direct provides confidential access to medical information, guidance and reassurance through a range of interactive services. These include an expert telephone advice line and detailed web resources.
Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2017
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