Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a grant of £54,000 by the Department of Health to provide a new service at Royal Hampshire County Hospital.
The funds, issued as part of the latest wave of winter funding announced by the Department of Health, are being used to provide a primary care streaming service at Winchester hospital.
Figures released by Hampshire Hospitals show that 15% of patients who visit the emergency departments at Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals could receive the treatment they need from their GP.
The Trust is taking action to reduce waiting times and ease pressure on the emergency department at Winchester hospital by providing a primary care streaming service. This service will see some patients treated by on-site doctors rather than in the emergency department.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This service will improve the experience for people attending the emergency department at Winchester hospital and it is fantastic that we have been able to secure funds from the Department of Health to put it in place."
Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and a Health Minister, added: "This is very good news and a real vote of confidence in the Trust and the RHCH in Winchester but also the sensible way local GPs are working to integrate care. This investment will ensure my constituents get prompt, and appropriate, care if they need to visit the emergency department."
As always, pressure is expected to increase on all emergency departments over the busy winter months and while the new service will help to ease this, you can play your part by ensuring that you use the most appropriate NHS service for your care.
Call 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency, such as persistent, severe chest pain or breathing difficulties. If you have an illness or injury that is not life threatening, you should contact your GP surgery first. GPs can treat and offer expert advice on a wide range of conditions.
If you are unsure which service would best suit your needs, you can call NHS 111, simply by dialling 111, where operators are on hand to give you advice and direct you to the most appropriate local service.
Alex Whitfield added: "We treated a record number of patients in our emergency departments last winter and expect to treat a similar number of people this year as well.
"Staff across the Trust are doing a fantastic job of treating people who come into our emergency departments, but we need everyone to help ease the pressure on them by making sure that visiting the emergency department is the right course of action."
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