Brighton and Hove doctors hold public meeting about EPIC challenge

Posted On 26 Sep 2014 at 5:57 pm

Brighton and Hove doctors are holding a public meeting about their EPIC scheme to improve access to GP services.

The meeting takes place at the Brighthelm Centre, in North Road, Brighton, from 7pm to 9pm this evening (Friday 26 September).

EPIC – short for Extended Primary Integrated Care – involves volunteer community navigators, supported by two local charities, Age UK and Impetus, helping people with complex needs.

It also relies on support from nurses and pharmacists in dealing with more minor ailments and medicine reviews.

Some practices will share resources to try to offer patients a better service and others ae looking at ways to extend their hours.

The aim is to free up family doctors and the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital to deal with the more serious cases.

The event comes as several surgeries across Brighton and Hove look at ways to increase the number of same-day appointments.

On Monday (29 September), for example, the Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub will start using the GP Access system used at the Brighton Station Health Centre.

One benefit should be to end what some patients regard as the telephone scrum when the surgeries’ phone lines open at the Portslade County Clinic, in Old Shoreham Road, and in Burwash Road, Hangleton.

The information event this evening will give patients and the public the chance to find out more about the EPIC project, which won £18 million from the Prime Minister’s GP Challenge Fund.

One of the doctors supporting the project, Jonathan Serjeant, said: “We believe the project will improve access to care and support services, bring better experience and more choice for patients and will put people in control of their own care and treatment.

“Local GPs will work together with nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and voluntary sector community navigators from AgeUK Brighton and Hove and Impetus Neighbourhood Care Scheme.

“We want people to see the right person at the right time and in the right place.”

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