GP REFERRALS TO ST MARY’S DOWN BY 54% BUT EMERGENCY ADMISSIONS UP 15%

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GP referrals to St Mary’s Hospital have dropped by more than 50% over last year but emergency admissions of the over 70s are on the rise.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust bosses say patients continue to turn up at the emergency department at St Mary’s Hospital, in Newport, requiring urgent care when it could have been treated beforehand.

Those emergency admissions have increased by 15%, when compared to October last year.

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Speaking at a meeting of the trust board last week, Joe Smyth, chief operating officer, said on the face of it fewer referrals from GPs may seem like a good thing but the patients not being seen may be getting worse and will end up being admitted to hospital. He said:

“It is true to say we are seeing an increase of emergency admissions coming into the hospital and it is true the majority of that increase is in the over 70s.”

From 19th-25th October, 325 referrals were made from GPs, compared to 705 in the same week last year — a drop of 54%. In the 4 weeks prior to that, referrals were only at 65% of what they were last year.

A break-the-cycle event is underway this week, conducted by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust with community and primary care providers, to see if they can reach out and assess the most needy.

Mr Smyth said they were able to identify who those patients are by looking at records and seeing who are ‘often responsible for a significant number of admissions’, being admitted 3 or 4 times in the past year.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes made to the emergency department and the increase of emergency admissions have led to significant pressures. Bed capacity has been reduced by 10% to keep COVID positive patients away from other, while gaps in staffing filled by temporary postings with doctors unfamiliar to the trust’s processes and model of care.

Mr Smyth said he wanted to assure everyone the hospital is safe but the break-the-cycle event will look at ways of solving some of those problems — how to better manage patients in the emergency department, how to better discharge patients and looking at the central process to ensure people are being processed as quickly as possible. He said:

“The purpose of this is to see if our theory around people not accessing primary care because of the virtual world and they are worried about coming out is there and we do that by reaching out into people’s homes.”

Maggie Oldham, chief executive, said primary care colleagues are busier now than they were last year but the increase of emergency admissions felt like it is another cohort of patients presenting to the hospital, instead of those skipping primary care and coming straight to the hospital.

However, a lack of evidence and data is yet to confirm that but is being worked on by the NHS trust.

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Helen
Helen
2 months ago

This is not surprising when it is so hard to even get to see a doctor face to face, coupled with the fear that the hospital is the last place you want to go to. GP’s should be more accessible, not everyone is happy to be diagnosed over the phone.

Eve Shipman
Eve Shipman
Reply to  Helen
2 months ago

Quite agree, most of the GP’s are hiding under their desks, hoping all the patients will go away, and have been since late March. Meanwhile, the hospital doctors, paramedics, air ambulance doctors and all the hospital supporting staff have been left to carry the can. Disgraceful state of affairs.

Truth
Truth
Reply to  Eve Shipman
2 months ago

GP’s are costing lives, wile thay hide…

Pepe
Pepe
Reply to  Truth
2 months ago

They’re too busy attempting to drive while intoxicated. Ask Dr. Henderson for more details.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Helen
2 months ago

That’s if you even get a phone call. Often just a reply to an email. Terrible service at the moment.

Petite Pots
Petite Pots
Reply to  Helen
2 months ago

Yet our council are going to allow the building of thousands of homes each YEAR, on the Island.

But then ‘they’ all have private health care, private education, so care NOTHING for the rest of us.

Vote these selfish, greedy beings OUT.

A W
A W
2 months ago

Not surprised, it’s a miracle to get past the receptionist to even get a phone call back! Seems COVID is an excuse for anything these days. Especially for poor customer service.

island girl
island girl
2 months ago

Can someone please advise where all the GPs have disappeared to since March, there only appears to be receptionists working and even then its a miracle if they answer the phone!!! same for dentists.
St Marys better brace itself soon, not for Covid, but all the other missed diagnosis of everyday diseases, there is going to be a tsunami of those soon.

Despondant
Despondant
Reply to  island girl
2 months ago

Well said been saying this for months. Someone needs to tell receptionists they’re not doctors! Whatever you ring surgery for or do an e-consult you only end up with a nurse never a doctor. If you’re lucky to get through the door you’ll only see nurses running round no doctors insight. And if I see that advert one more time saying go to docs if you have a problem the NHS is open I’m gonna put my foot through the t.v !!!!!! The government needs to kick G.Ps up the arse or stop their pay and big pension.

Tings that make you go, hmmm
Tings that make you go, hmmm
2 months ago

The huge amount of suffering for everyday complaints has been immense for people. Doctors have become elusive yet on full pay, whilst many shop workers and care home staff face equal risk without the PPE and strict safety measures the NHS staff are afforded.

Few if honest are at the front line of cv, and yet ‘all’ once over will push for a pay rise, timing such on the publics ‘relief’ it is all over.

Watch and see, more for doing less. Disgusting, whilst others are just made to ‘feel’ lucky for having their jobs now.

Real Islander
Real Islander
2 months ago

A vaccine seems like the happy ending to the horrible story of 2020, but happy endings are not written in the language of coercive control, emotional manipulation and threats.

Pepe
Pepe
Reply to  Real Islander
2 months ago

A vaccine won’t bring the ‘happy ending’ you are thinking of. The virus will NOT simply disappear because of a vaccine.

Real Islander
Real Islander
Reply to  Pepe
2 months ago

It was sarcasm!!!!!!

Islandhammer
Islandhammer
2 months ago

Tower House Surgery Ryde is a disgrace!

Petite Pots
Petite Pots
Reply to  Islandhammer
2 months ago

Fully agree, for once. I had to see a ‘boy’, a junior trainee. Nice enough lad, but no experience and had to go through a ‘check list’ of symptoms off the computer. And then he had to seek advice from some hidden Dr behind the scenes. How come these overpaid, bloated Doctors can waste their time on I.W radio ‘giving advice’ but are too well off to do a days work, YET will risk a young lad without any care. Don’t DARE expect sympathy OR a pay rise for going AWOL. YET they are the ones people clapped for, and… Read more »

Christopher Davis
Christopher Davis
2 months ago

You are unwell can not see a GP as getting an appointment is harder than winning the lottery so is it so surprising that more people end up more unwell and need to go to hospital which is probably the last place they want to be! CCG should be reducing funding to GP surgeries who are not seeing enough patients and receptionist need to be brought under control and not be making medical decisions for which they have no medical training.
Current primary care on the Island is very poor

stephen
stephen
2 months ago

GP omgosh i thought they were a thing of the past iv not seen or heard of any GPs for near on a year. Have i missed something?.

Terry
Terry
2 months ago

Maggie Oldham, people are not skipping primary care, they are presenting at the hospital because they can’t get primary care, so go to plan B. The old mantra of ” take two aspirin and come back in a week if it doesn’t work”, seems to have returned, and that’s if you can actually talk to a doctor. But I have to say that the 111 service worked well for us ( well sort of).
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