“We are delighted to receive the news that the application for the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund has been successful. We believe this will bring real change to improve access for patients. In turn this should help reduce the increasing pressures on A and E. The population of Blackburn and Darwen will benefit from this pioneering and innovative approach to accessible General Practice. The success of the application is a demonstration of the hard work and commitment of the clinical and managerial team. “ – Dr. Mohammed Umer GP Blackburn with Darwen
This project has a number of aspects which will benefit the 169, 812 patients in Blackburn and Darwen:
- A 24/7 Primary Care Access Centre (PCAC) hub, based on the Royal Blackburn Hospital site, which will operate every day of the year. This will generate a minimum of 20,000 additional consultations (at least 393 per week) between 8am and 8pm on weekdays. A further 9984 additional appointments will be available at weekends.
- Extended access through three other locality spokes (North, West and Darwen) – available 8am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 12pm on weekends. Per locality, these surgeries will provide a minimum of 160 additional consultations per month during the week and 96 additional consultations per month at weekends.
- Increased capacity in general practice through a telephone triage and advice system.
- Training for community pharmacists to enable them to manage minor illness more appropriately .
- Utilisation of new digital technologies to encourage self-care and provide a range of ways for patients to access services.