PRIMARY CARE: The primary care ‘super practice’ and vanguard site Lakeside Healthcare has begun triaging ambulatory patients who arrive at Leicester Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department.

  • Multispeciality community provider Lakeside Healthcare to run A&E triaging service
  • “Front door” service to be run by provider’s urgent care delivery arm Lakeside Plus
  • Scheme to start with 12 month contract

The provider has been appointed by University Hospitals of Leicester Trust to see, treat or stream its patients at the unit’s “front door”.

Doctor with stethoscope

Lakeside already operates the Corby Urgent Care Centre

The scheme sees specialist GPs and nurses from Lakeside make decisions about where patients would be best treated within the hospital, or whether they could use alternative services.

The scheme is being run as a pilot until the middle of this month, and if successful will continue until November 2016.

While the initiative is funded by Leicestershire clinical commissioning groups – Leicester City, East Leicestershire and Rutland, and West Leicestershire – Lakeside will be contracted directly with the trust.

Lakeside Healthcare is one of the 14 multispeciality community provider sites under NHS England’s vanguards programme. It is also part of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland urgent and emergency care vanguard site.

The “front door” service is operated by Lakeside Plus, the Corby based provider’s urgent care delivery arm, which also runs the Corby Urgent Care Centre.  

The trust’s chief operating officer, Richard Mitchell, said: “The volume of patients that come into Leicester Royal Infirmary on an emergency pathway are greater than anywhere else in the country. Linked into this, the estate is very poor. We have looked for experience and skill sets outside of the local health system.

“The measures of success will be the use of community streaming [where patients who can use other services are directed to them].

“We hope to see community streaming increase. We hope to see the volume of patients transferred into the major emergency department reduce.”

Robert Harris, chief executive of Lakeside Group, said: “This is a huge opportunity for Lakeside to demonstrate the difference that general practitioners with deep expertise in managing urgent care patients can make.

“Simply putting a locum GP in a booth in the emergency department makes little or no difference. You need a full advanced life support trained team of doctors and senior nurses who are coordinated and who understand how to cope with significant volume pressures.”