Private company may take over out of hours service
12:01pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
LOCAL out of hours GP call handling and triage services could soon be run by a private company.
Hywel Dda Local Health Board is considering the health care company Primecare to take over the service in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
The company already runs the service in Carmarthenshire.
The Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion service is currently run from Haverfordwest.
A source said there was concern among some staff locally.
“My issue is – what guarantee is there for the people of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion with regards to the efficiency of the service?”
They added that they feared potentially greater waiting times on the telephone or for a home visit from a GP.
Around 12 full time staff plus others on part-time contracts are likely to be affected if the proposal goes ahead.
A Hywel Dda spokesman confirmed the move was being considered and added: “We strongly believe this approach will offer improved patient choice and speed up home visits that could result in a reduction of calls to 999 and admission to hospital.
“The health board has a duty to consult with and support any staff affected by the proposed change and will do so when we are confident that this change will improve out of hours access for our patients.
“The health board will work with our clinicians, including GPs , to ensure that this change will improve the service provided before any decision is made.”