And residents have now started to use a mobile ‘health bus’ to get advice when they have been unable to get an appointment, governors at the Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group have been told.
Carolyn Ogle, associate director of primary care and commissioning at the CCG, updated governors on what is currently going on in the borough at GP levels at their monthly meeting.
She said plans for capital funding coming to South Yorkshire were still going ahead.
She said work was progressing on plans for a proposed Bentley primary care hub building, which would include both the GP practices in the village.
She added the CCG was also working closely with both practices in Rossington to see what details of plans for new building there would look like, and a third party development in Mexborough was progressing.
She added work was also continuing on reducing the number of unused rooms in NHS buildings, particularly those which were built under the LIFT programme.
Health bosses are looking to significantly increase the use of multi-million pound buildings which were built around 10 years ago under the Government’s public-private LIFT funding programme, with some having been operating while as little as 35 per cent full.
However she said some of the extended access arrangements for medical appointments had needed to be put on hold because of the pandemic.
She added: “We have started the health bus, which people will have seen around Doncaster. It has been well received by patients and people who have been unable to get an appointment. You can just walk in and see a health professional.”
She said it had been particularly popular in the north of the borough.
She added that the pandemic had accelerated moves towards video consultations that had already been in the pipeline.
She said a lot of the work in the future would be around recovery from the Covid crisis and how to get practices back to business again.
But some new ways of working that had arrived through the pandemic would remain, such as remote triaging, where initial assessments are made over the telephone.