July 7, 2015
New organisation to provide out-of-hours healthcare in Burnham area

A new organisation has been unveiled to provide out-of-hours and 111 healthcare services across the Burnham-On-Sea area.

Somerset Doctors Urgent Care (SDUC) has been commissioned by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide out-of-hours urgent care and the NHS 111 helpline service.

In awarding both contracts to SDUC Somerset, CCG says it expects the new service to deliver a more integrated approach to urgent care services across Somerset.

It's expected to relieve the sort of demand experienced by district hospitals last winter when Accident and Emergency Departments saw unprecedented numbers of frail elderly patients and those with long-term conditions being admitted to hospital.

Dr Ed Ford, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s GP Emergency Care Lead, explained: "Our plans for emergency and out-of-hours medical care aim to deliver a significant improvement to services in Somerset. Emergency and urgent out-of-hours medical services are available to help the most ill and vulnerable. Our aim is to see more seamless care delivered to patients whether in their own home or the community, as well as fewer people feeling they need to attend hospital Accident and Emergency Departments when they don’t have an urgent need to be there."

Helen Mee, Regional Operational Manager with Somerset Doctors Urgent Care (SDUC), added: "We are delighted to be the new service provider for Somerset out-of-hours urgent care and NHS 111 service and we believe that we can improve access to the right service through a more integrated approach. We are looking forward to working closely with other local healthcare providers in the county to deliver high quality patient care."

The 111 telephone helpline continues to be the number to call for all non-emergency queries.

The service operates 24 hours a day, providing health advice and signposting the public to the correct service for their healthcare needs.

Pictured: Dr Mike Harrison (Medical Director Vocare), Caroline Moore (Somerset CCG Governing Body Member – Nurse Representative) and Ann Anderson (NHS Somerset CCG – Director of Primary Care Development) with in the background: John Harrison (Chief Executive of Vocare), Helen Weldon (NHS Somerset CCG Quality Improvement Manager), Jo Meecham (Clinical Support Manager – SDUC), Rachel Vokes (NHS Somerset CCG – Urgent Care Commissioning Manager), Tracey Tilsley (NHS Somerset CCG Commissioning Project Manager) and Helen Mee (Regional Operational Manager SDUC)

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