A HUGE shake up of GP Out of Hours services will take place this spring after it was announced that Shropdoc has been axed.

In a joint statement made by NHS Shropshire CCG, NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG and Powys Teaching Health Board, they confirmed that the contract with Shropdoc will end on March 31.

They said that they have been working with Shropdoc to address “financial challenges” facing the service.

A doctor involved in GP Out of Hours Care has criticised the axing of Shropdoc:

“I’m concerned about what will happen to GP out of hours services,” said the doctor.

“Patients in Powys will bo longer be using Shropdoc which has been doing this for 22 years and is the only one on the whole of the UK to have an outstanding rating

“It’s not clear what will be provided.”

Health campaigner Cllr Joy Jones said: “Out of hours services are vital for us here in Powys and I have called on the health board to make sure we carry on having access to out of hours here in Powys.

“And to make sure there is a plan if Shropdoc disappeared.

“Any change must not be a cut and they must invest at least the same and ideally more.

“But the most important thing is that I don’t want us to be left with no service at all.”

Powys Teaching Health Board told The County Times that they plan to roll out a new NHS 111 Wales Service by spring 2018.

A spokesman for Powys Teaching Health Board said: “One of our priorities during 2018, will be to put in place our plan for the roll-out of the NHS 111 Wales service across Powys.

“NHS 111 Wales will provide a ‘one stop shop’ service that combines GP Out of Hours with the NHS Direct Wales service.

“This means that patients don’t need to decide whether to call their GP Out of Hours Service or NHS Direct – instead they can ring 111 to get easy access to health information and advice if they are ill and unsure what to do. Our aim is to put in place NHS 111 Wales across Powys from spring 2018.

“Our current contract with Shropdoc ends in the spring.

“This makes it an ideal time to work with them and other partners on a managed transition to a future model for out-of-hours primary care linked to the new NHS 111 Wales service.

“Our future approach will also include a new model for face-to-face out-of-hours services working seamlessly with NHS 111 Wales.

“Understandably, we want to assure patients that our priority is to ensure that local people have access to out-of-hours primary care if they need it.”

NHS 111 Wales was first put in place in ABMU Health Board (Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend) in October 2016.

In May 2017 it was extended to Carmarthenshire. November 2017 saw the first NHS 111 Wales implementation in Powys when Ystradgynlais Medical Practice switched over to the integrated service.

Shropdoc said that the organisation has no comment to make at this time.