The Vale of Glamorgan Council has helped secure funds for the Cardiff and Vale Region from a £100 million Wales-wide Transformation Grant for a series of health and social care initiatives.
Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Health Vaughan Gething attended Redlands Surgery in Penarth last week to launch the Transformation Fund for Health and Social Care.
The surgery is anticipated to be the pilot location for one of the projects, a GP Triage system offering patients access to a range of wellbeing services including pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social services and housing advice.
It is hoped that this can improve patient outcomes by creating a single point of access for health and social care enquiries and divert people away from GP appointments or home visits unless medically necessary.
Patients also benefit from a joined up approach from healthcare professionals, which they can easily transfer between.
The single point of access will be a central hub for enquiries and involving a booking system, which will likely be hosted at the Contact Centre based within the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Run in partnership with the University Health Board, it is not thought any other Local Authority is working with independent contractors to manage demand and public expectations in this manner.
In addition to the GP triage system, other schemes that will benefit from funding include an initiative to free up hospital bed space by having patients assessed at home and another which will see GPs refer patients to services in their community rather than turning to medical solutions.
Cllr Gordon Kemp, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure said: “I’m thrilled that funding has been secured for a wide range of worthwhile projects in the area of health and social care provision. The GP Triage Service to be run out of Redland surgery is an extremely worthwhile initiative that will make a real difference to residents of Penarth by offering them a one-stop shop for health and wellbeing needs.
“Having a variety of services under one roof will ensure patients receive the most effective treatment and also ease the burden on GPs allowing them to focus on the areas they are needed most.”