A new service that has seen GPs working inside A&E is helping to reduce pressure on hospitals, Government inspectors have said.
The co-located Primary Care service, at Leeds General Infirmary, was brought in October 2017 to relieve the strain on emergency department staff by introducing a family doctor to treat those who arrive with minor illnesses.
The Care Quality Commission watchdog has revealed that the service has met healthcare regulations following its first inspection, and that all patients who were directed to the GP were seen within the four-hour window.
It has been commissioned by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and is provided by the Otley-based One Medicare Ltd private company.
Inspectors were shown performance data, covering November 2017 to September 2018, that showed 100 per cent of patients who turned up were treated or referred by the GP to another service within four hours.
The service, rated as "Good" overall by the CQC, beat its four-hour waiting time target by five per cent.
“The service routinely reviewed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provided,” the CQC report said.
“It ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence-based guidelines. Staff involved treated people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group urged patients to consider carefully which service they choose when they are unwell, and stressed that local GPs and pharmacies should be the first port of calls.
The purpose of introducing the co-located GP to A&E was to relieve the strain on emergency department’s staff in the city, she said.
The spokeswoman added: “The recent CQC report is a positive reflection of the high quality of care this service provides.”
Inspectors highlighted staff for praise, including how they referred and signposted patients to relevant services.
The latest report added: “There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation.
“Staff said they felt supported by managers and leaders from both a local and organisational level.
“There was evidence of good engagement with other organisations and services relating to the provision of urgent care.”