105FM :: Local Radio for Redcar & Cleveland

People living in the Redcar and Cleveland area will now be able to see a GP in the evenings and weekends if they need urgent treatment or advice.

The STAR (South Tees Access and Response) scheme is a new initiative funded by the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund (PMCF) to improve patient access to their services outside the current opening hours of care.

Led by general practices across the area, it aims to simplify the way the NHS works locally to ensure patients are getting the right care, first time, through a single point of access. Through the STAR service, patients wanting to see or speak to a GP urgently between 6.30pm and 9.30pm, Mondays to Fridays, or 8am and 8pm on weekends and bank holidays should ring NHS 111. A GP or nurse practitioner from the STAR scheme will ring the patient back and carry out an initial assessment over the telephone or offer a face-to-face appointment at a dedicated hub in Redcar Primary Care Hospital or in Middlesbrough from the end of October.

Patients accessing this service will always be asked for their consent about clinicians’ viewing their electronic medical records so they can provide the most appropriate care and advice. Patients may also be referred onto other services more appropriate to their needs.

Dr Teik Goh, a GP in Guisborough (pictured) and the scheme’s Clinical Director, said: “The STAR scheme has been developed - and is led by GPs across Redcar, East Cleveland and Middlesbrough and aims to provide a better primary care service for patients needing urgent care or advice on evenings and weekends.

It is an extended GP service in the evenings and weekends so during normal opening times patients should continue to contact their own GP to make an appointment the usual way.”

The STAR scheme, which also has the support of South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, is being rolled out in GP practices across the area and details of all the practices currently involved is available on their website at www.SouthTeesAccessResponse.nhs.uk

The scheme has been funded until the end of March 2016 when the project will be evaluated. Further information and updates are also available on Twitter @NHSSTAR and on Facebook.

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