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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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New system for CueDoc

LONG waits to see the emergency CueDoc could be cut following the introduction of a new appointment scheme.

Piloted at the CueDoc treatment centre at the West Cumberland Hospital, the scheme will aim to speed up the time patients are seen by an out-of-hours doctor.

The new system will mean that patients are offered specific appointment times, which is different to the previous system where patients arrived at the centres and were fitted in when possible. However, patients requiring urgent attention or treatment will still be seen immediately.

Susan Blakemore, Clinical Director of CueDoc, said: “We decided to implement the new system because we felt the service would run more efficiently if appointment times were issued. Under the previous system, patients would wait for an unspecified length of time. This way, patients will know exactly when they are going to be seen.

“We’ve always encouraged patients to phone first rather than just arriving at the treatment centres, but we would ask that wherever possible, all patients now call CueDoc ahead of arriving at a treatment centre.

“This also means that we can assess immediately what type of care is most appropriate for them, for example whether they might need more urgent A&E care instead,’’ she said. “We hope patients find the new system more user-friendly and, provided it is a success, intend to extend it to our treatment centre at Penrith Hospital and satellite surgery at Wigton Community Hospital.”

Copeland MP, Jamie Reed, welcomed the new out of hours pilot scheme saying: “It’s important that GPs develop innovative and flexible ways of meeting patient needs and this new appointment system helps to do this.

“Nobody enjoys waiting to be treated, particularly for long periods with ill children or family members or if in acute pain. I hope that service users will take note of the new appointment system so that they can save their time and ensure that they are seeking medical treatment and advice from the most appropriate source.”

CueDoc provides out of hours GP and nurse care to the North Cumbria area, including Carlisle and District, Eden Valley and West Cumbria. It operates between 6.30pm and 8am Monday to Friday, all throughout the weekend and on Bank Holidays. The CueDoc number is 01228 401999.

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