Somerset GP 999 support scheme

What is it?

This is about GPs providing primary care support for the ambulance service, benefitting patients in Somerset, from two vehicles based out of Yeovil and Taunton. The scheme creates GP-staffed 999 vehicles acting as a mobile urgent and emergency treatment service to help manage patients at home.

The scheme was so successful last year that extra funding has been achieved for a second vehicle and we’re particularly looking for GPs to cover East Somerset.

What would I be doing?

As a GP, this is an opportunity to provide clinically-rewarding primary care support in a completely different environment and you’ll appreciate this is not standard out of hours working.

You’ll also:

  • have the opportunity to develop and widen your own skills, gain confidence around managing high acuity emergencies and make an immediate difference to patients.
  • have varied case load and work as part of a close team.
  • be focused on supporting admission avoidance.
  • be comfortable with a degree of risk.

Why are you doing it?

If you’re a local GP you’ll know Somerset is a very rural county of around 540,000 people across an area of 3,504km². Delivering urgent and emergency care in Somerset is complex and challenging because of the geography, demography, and rapidly changing patient expectation and need.

This scheme has already run for two years with good success. In 14/15, 324 hours of GP resulted in 87% of patients being treated at home. For the 15/16 winter scheme, 120 hours delivered 79% treated at home.

The Somerset GP 999 support scheme benefits patients with additional skillset and medications, the availability of clinical telephone advice for ambulance crews; clinical review at the right time and direct hospital admission if needed under an appropriate speciality.

What about pay and indemnity?

This is sessional-basis pay and you will be indemnified by South Western Ambulance Service.

What are the hours?

If you’re interested, we’d like to have a chat and could be flexible on shifts, but usually we’re looking at 1-2 (typically a 6-10-hour) shifts over a four week period, covering Friday to Monday.

Do I need any training?

You’ll probably already have some out of hours experience and no new skills are required – but some training will be provided.

Ok, I’d like to find out more

If you want to find out how your GP skills can be used more widely across Somerset we’d be really interested to hear from you. Please email Matt Booker for more information.

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Paramedics and volunteers will be offering free blood pressure checks for any visitors to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) stand this week at the Devon County Show. The team will also be doing CPR demonstrations and educating the public how to act fast and help save patients who may need quick action when they become ill.

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