A local service for patients in Tameside & Glossop
On 3rd February 2009, a brand new service started for patients called Greater Manchester NHS Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (GM NHS CATS
) by Care UK
on behalf of the NHS. Here we describe what the service is and how you can benefit from it.
What is GM NHS CATS ? It is an alternative choice patients can make to see specialists in the community in General Surgery, Urology, Gynaecology, Ear, Nose and Throat and Musculoskeletal Medicine. There is also provision for endoscopy ("camera tests”) as well as scans such as ultrasound scan, CT and MRI scans. Audiology appointments can also be made there.
Why would you wish to go to GM NHS CATS? It is a local service delivered by Care UK
available from 8am till 8pm most days of the week including weekends although not all services are available at all times. It is a service run by consultants but allows patients to be seen in the community. It is hoped most patients will be able to be seen once by making very efficient use of your time and ensuring as much as possible all tests are done at the same time. If a referral suggests that patients may need a CT scan or MRI scan then you may be asked to come a couple of days earlier to have the scan done on site so that the results are available to hand for the doctor who sees you. They may also offer some treatment eg physiotherapy or occupational therapy for a short time after the assessment. You may also be given a prescription for any drugs you need which will be available from local chemists for you to get. The service will use all the most modern ways of working with modern equipment and a fully electronic heath record system so that all results and electronic records are immediately available to the clinician rather like we have here at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres. Patients should be seen and discharged usually within 4 weeks of being referred!
Where will the service be located? The service is delivered via Mobile Units which are able to move from one location to another. This is the first time such a service has been delivered via a series of interconnecting Mobile Units which can move from one location to another so that many more patients can be treated in their own locality. This allows is to be local but also be available in other parts of Greater Manchester too. For our patients, the closest location is in West End Working Men's Club, Grosvenor Street, Denton M34 3WN. The locations of the other places where the service will be are available in the brochure below.
Can anybody go to the GM NHS CATS? In the main, anybody can go to the GM NHS CATS who is being referred for General Surgery, Urology, Gynaecology, Ear, Nose and Throat and Musculoskeletal Medicine. However there are 3 main exceptions: children under 18, anybody who may have an emergency or anybody who may be suspected to have cancer should be referred directly to a hospital based service. Ideally adult patients who are not likely to need a general anaesthetic could benefit from the service.
How do I know the service is good for me? A great deal of time and effort has gone into ensuring the service is top class. In particular Dr Hannan has been involved in ensuring the service is as good as can be and closely matches the needs of patients in the NHS who are referred into the service. A number of other clinicians and managers have been involved from across Greater Manchester as well as from the Department of Health to ensure the service is excellent. A quality service is defined by ensuring it is safe, effective and that the user experience is as good as can be. From Day 1, the service patients receive will be closely monitored by Care UK as well as the local NHS to ensure it provides the very high standards of care we would expect. Patients will be encouraged to describe their experience too. The service will also be asking GPs who refer into the service what their experience! In fact in many respects it far exceeds what the NHS has traditionally offered to make it even better than it already is.
If patients get referred to the GM NHS CATS then isn't that bad for the local hospitals where the patients would have otherwise gone? No. Patients should be able to choose where they wish to go and which is appropriate for their needs. Many patients want to be treated locally and not have to travel further than is absolutely necessary. This service allows patients to be treated locally in the community by competent clinicians whilst enabling the local hospitals to see sooner those patients that need their expertise and who cannot be seen in the community. Patients who are seen by GM NHS CATS and then need to be referred on to the hospital will be forwarded on to the hospital of the patient's choice but they will not need to have tests re-done if it is not necessary. It will be important that patients get the care they need as soon as possible. It is hoped this will in time improve the efficiency of the hospitals as well as the services provided in the community. We want the local hospitals to be the very best for our patients and to use their resources to improve patient care especially for those who really need to be in hospital. NHS Tameside & Glossop will be keeping a close eye on things to ensure this is the case. Similarly other PCTs will also be looking at their local hospitals too to ensure everybody benefits: patients, GPs and hospitals!
How can I find out more about the service? You can take a look at their website
by clicking here
or you can phone them directly by ringing 0333 200 4078. For further details about the service click on the link below and download a brochure about them.
How can I learn more about choosing a service and which is best for me? We have produced a web page specifically to help you to understand what Choose and Book is and how you can decide what is best for you. Click here to learn more about the service and how you can get the best from it.