BURNLEY’S night-time out of hours doctors service is to move from the St Peter’s Centre to Burnley General Hospital.
From midnight until 8 a.m. the GPs will be based at the urgent care centre as part of a trial run over the winter months.
Health bosses said the scheme would test the feasibility of running both services together on a permanent basis.
Moving the midnight until 8 a.m. doctor is the only change to the service at St Peter’s, which will continue to operate as normal at all other times.
Chris Endersby, urgent care manager at NHS East Lancashire, said: “The move is a testing of the water for this service ahead of any more comprehensive move to integrate out of hours and urgent care services across East Lancashire in the future.
“This pilot shouldn’t affect too many people. We have analysed out of hours attendance at St Peter’s and found that in the overnight period from midnight to 8 a.m. the service has been seeing on average just two people.
“The busiest month to date was August where a total of 53 people were seen over the 31 days of that month. By co-locating the GP out of hours service with the urgent care service at Burnley General we can be sure that patients receive the right treatment from the right doctor however they access the service.”
The GP out of hours service is appointment based and patients can call the new 111 service when their GP practice is closed.
The 111 service assesses patients and determines whether the patient needs to attend an urgent care centre or see an out of hours GP.
Where a patient needs to access the GP out of hours service they will be given an appointment and advised over the phone where to attend.
Dr David White, lead GP for Burnley Clinical Commissioning Group and the PCT clinical lead for urgent care said: “This is an innovative approach and represents a step change towards more integrated urgent care – particularly for out of hours care.
“It represents the importance that we place on the urgent care centre in Burnley and is a strengthening of this clinical model. We are testing how it will work as a trial run over the winter months – the busiest time of the year. If the system works it will move to a permanent arrangement completely.”