CCG deny cuts to services

Bridgwater TUC branch has expressed concern that there is a threat to the Bridgwater Treatment Centre. Operating as part of the Somerset “Out of Hours” Integrated Urgent Care Service/SIUCS, the service is now run by “Devon Doctors”.

The service is run from a base at Bridgwater Hospital. It has thus far provided non-emergency health care during “out of hours ” times, night-times and weekends, when medical centres and doctors’ surgeries are closed.

Bridgwater TUC expressed concern following rumours that Devon Doctors intended to cut the Bridgwater overnight service from Monday through to Thursday. As the nearest out of hours treatment centres are at Shepton Mallet or Taunton, this means that patients will face extra- long journeys, and many home visits will be delayed way beyond the guidelines times.

Not so say the CCG. In response to questions put to them by The Leveller, David Freeman, Chief Operating Officer, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are committed to making sure the people of Somerset have easy access to urgent out of hours support. In recent years we have improved these services dramatically by commissioning a new, clinically-led provider for our out of hours service and improving access through extended GP surgery opening hours. Devon Doctors have provided our Integrated Urgent Care service since February 2019 and have delivered significant improvement in the level of service available to patients and callers. We are not aware of any plans to change the location, operating hours or overall provision of this service.”

In addition Mr Freeman explained “I can also confirm that there is definitely no reduction in the funding we provide for this service.”

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