Hantsdoc, a hospital-based service in Basingstoke, has revolutionised out-of-hours GP cover for the local community. The service just celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In 2015, Hantsdoc handled 42,130 medical cases. Out of these, 41 per cent were offered self-care advice over the telephone, and healthcare professionals visited 8 per cent of patients in their home. Over the years, the service has handled more than 381,000 calls.
Medical Director Dr Andrew Fernando stated that even though there are pressures on general practice, he was very proud of the service and care delivered to patients in North Hampshire by the staff.
Hantsdoc is located in the Fracture Clinic in Basingstoke Hospital. It provides healthcare cover to patients from 6.30pm to 8am on weekdays and a 24-hour service during weekends and Bank Holidays.
The service was originally founded as a GP co-operative in 1996. In 2004, the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) took over the responsibility for the service. Instead of using NHS and medical contractors, the service uses local doctors.
About two-thirds of doctors working for Hantsdoc are from the Basingstoke area and are locally employed. The service rarely uses locum doctors. It believes that the connection with the local community has been important to its success.
Dr Swati Patel has been with Hantsdoc since its inception. She stated that 20 years ago, the service brought together local GP practices to offer an innovative option to patients seeking medical advice out of hours. Patel said that Hantsdoc has become a household name that residents value, and this is a tribute to the hard work and effort put in by all its members.
North Hampshire CCG Clinical Chair Dr Nicola Decker stated that the service provided by Hantsdoc is invaluable not just for patients but also for GPs as they can rest assured knowing that their patients will receive the highest standard of care.