A pioneering scheme which changed the face of out-of-hours GP cover for local people has celebrated its 20th anniversary this month.
Hantsdoc was originally formed as a GP Co-operative in June 1996 when GPs had 24/7 responsibility for their patients. Hantsdoc ran as a GP co-op until the new General Medical Services Contract in April 2004. With GPs opting out of the out-of-hours (OOH) care, the responsibility then passed to Primary Care Trusts, now the Clinical Commissioning Groups. As a result of a Hampshire review in 2006, Hantsdoc and Frimley Primary Care Service, the OOH service based at Frimley Park Hospital, merged to form North Hampshire Urgent Care (NHUC) but retains Hantsdoc as the local branding.
The service is commissioned for patients in North Hampshire by NHS North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG’s Clinical Chair, Dr Nicola Decker, said:
“The service Hantsdoc provides is invaluable not just for patients but also for our GPs who can be confident that their patients will receive an excellent standard of care.”
The first overnight shift was taken by Dr Keith Ollerhead, who has recently returned to NHUC, Hantsdoc. Dr Ollerhead has said;
“We are lucky that Hantsdoc still has many local GPs working at the heart of the service. Their local knowledge and experience is invaluable.”
Dr Swati Patel has been working with the service since it started;
“20 years ago we brought local practices together in an innovative way to look after our patients out of hours. Since then Hantsdoc has become a local household name valued by its citizens; a tribute to the hard work and commitment of all its members.”
Dr Andrew Fernando, Medical Director Hantsdoc has confirmed that;
“Despite the pressures on general practice that have been particularly acute over the last three years, I remain extremely proud of the service and care that has been delivered to our patients in North Hampshire by all those that work at HantsDoc.”
Two decades later the service is based at North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, providing cover for people across the hospital’s catchment area and north Hampshire, and it has handled around 381,000 calls.
The service is housed in Fracture Clinic at North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, providing cover from 6.30pm to 8am from Monday to Friday and 24-hour cover at weekends and on Bank Holidays. Patients can access the service through the 111 Urgent Helpline.
In 2015 the service handled 42,130 cases. Of these, 41% were dealt with by self-care advice over the phone, 51% of patients were given appointments at the primary care centre and 8% of patients were visited at home. Among the most common reasons for contacting the service were cystitis, abdominal pain and chest infections.