North Cornwall MP and Government Minister for Rural Affairs Dan Rogerson announced new government funding to help people access NHS services closer to home this week.
Mr Rogerson visited Bodmin Hospital on Friday to announce that the new money would be spent to improve access to GP services and to extend minor illness clinics in Cornwall.
Devon and Cornwall made a successful bid last year to improve access to GP services and minor illness clinics.
Trials of new minor illness and urgent care services at local community hospitals like those in Bodmin and Stratton in North Cornwall were due to run until the end of the month.
£894,000 of new funding announced by Dan Rogerson in Bodmin will help to continue the projects and to test ways of extending and improving access to primary care.
Bodmin Community Hospital is one of the sites where nurses can now offer local treatment for a range of minor illnesses. This is particularly helpful to local patients at times when their own GP practice is closed during evenings and weekends.
The anticipated benefits of the pilot are increased convenience for patients and a potential reduction in demand on the GP out-of-hours service. A similar service is also in operation at Stratton Hospital.
The funding has also been used to trial new ways for people to access pharmacy services in their community, and to increase the number of evening and weekend GP appointments available at local surgeries, including at Launceston Medical Centre.
Speaking after his visit to Bodmin Hospital Dan Rogerson MP said:
“This new government funding will help people in Cornwall to be able to see a GP, nurse or primary care professional in the evenings and at weekends or to speak to one by phone, video or email.
“It is part of Lib Dem plans to get the NHS and GPs to offer more services and treatments closer to people’s homes, at times that suit them, and to avoid un-necessary long trips to Treliske, Barnstaple or Derriford hospitals.”
Lib Dem Care Minister Norman Lamb said:
“We want to have a fairer society, and that means better care, closer to home for everyone. This announcement helps patients get easier access to their GP.
“Our investment in out of hospital care will not only improve and join up services where people live but also keep people healthier in the community for longer.”