Who are Cumbria Medical Services
Cumbria Medical Services is located in the Cockermouth Community Hospital from where it runs Dermatology and Surgical Clinics each week.
We provide NHS specialist services in Community Dermatology, Minor Surgery and Ophthalmology. We are a GPwER (GP with Extended Role) service and work from various locations throughout Cumbria utilising the excellent facilities of our community hospitals and GP surgeries.
This GPwER service has been developed over the past few years in North Cumbria by Dr Martin White and Dr Fayyaz Chaudhri. We have had very positive feedback from patients, with a very high proportion of patients rating the service excellent or good. Due to the popularity and increased demand for the services, Dr White and Dr Chaudhri decided to leave their GP practice in July 2013 and form Cumbria Medical Services. This allowed them to devote more time to developing the community services further, increasing the number of clinics and range of venues giving more people the benefit of ‘care closer to home’. We were joined by Dr Ross Kelly in October 2016 who leads the community ophthalmology service.
Our waiting times are low with the majority of patients seen within 6 weeks and if necessary much sooner. We are also proud of our excellent clinical outcomes and minimal infection rates.
Everything we do saves the health economy money. For example, one carpal tunnel decompression procedure in hospital is equivalent in cost to three operated on in the community. Each procedure in the community saves roughly a thousand pounds which can be spent on other services.
We are hoping other GPs will be interested in developing services and CMS aims to support others in this very satisfying type of work.
Dr Fayyaz Chaudhri
The community dermatology service was established in 2008 and is run by a team of GP dermatology specialists, who hold the Diploma in Dermatology, supported by consultant dermatologists and a dermatology nurse specialist.
We will see any referrals apart from 2 week wait cancer or dermatology emergencies. Clinics are held at several sites across North Cumbria. Currently we are seeing 6000 referrals a year.
Dr Martin White
Prior to becoming a GP, Dr. Martin White completed surgical training, gaining Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons. He has developed a range of community surgical services, all under local anaesthesia, and works alongside a group of consultants who come out into the community.
Community Carpal Tunnel Service
Started in 2013 and has been modelled on the service from Probus in Cornwall who have been running their service for 20 years. Once a referral is received we either offer patients a ‘one stop clinic’ appointment where assessment and operation can take place in a single session or alternatively offer the patient an initial consultation and then make a subsequent appointment for the operation. All outcomes are measured including a validated carpal tunnel questionnaire looking at the impact of surgery. The majority of these procedures in north Cumbria are community based.
No Scalpel Vasectomy Service
This style of vasectomy has replaced the traditional technique. It has a much lower complication rate for patients and the recovery time is significantly reduced.
We currently operate at 4 sites in Cumbria; Arnside House in Carlisle, Victoria Cottage Hospital in Maryport, Cockermouth Community Hospital and Mary Hewetson Hospital in Keswick.
Referrals can be made either directly from GPs or through the local community dermatology service. Dr White works alongside Dr Maria Martin’s South Lakes GPwSI (GP with Special Interest) Dermatology Service based at James Cochrane Practice.
In north Cumbria Dr White works alongside Mr Graham Putnam, a consultant maxillofacial surgeon, and Dr Christy Chou, a consultant plastic surgeon. They can operate on most cases in the community and will perform anything from simple excisions through to facial flaps and skin grafts. All the work is audited and presented annually to the skin cancer Multi Disciplinary Team.
Local Anaesthetic Hernia Service
Dr White has run this service with a consultant colleague Mr Sam Dresner since 2013. As per NICE guidance local anaesthetic repair remains the ‘gold standard’ for treatment. Patients have an assessment where we discuss options for treatment. Approximately 90% of patients choose to have a local anaesthetic repair in the community. If in-patient treatment is indicated or chosen we currently have the facility to place patients directly onto the waiting list at the hospital negating the need of yet another ‘assessment’ at the hospital. While we currently don’t have the facility to operate on patients in the south Lakes in the community, if patients are happy to travel to Carlisle to one of our other community sites that has been built to a standard to be able to perform hernia repair, we are happy to accept referrals.
We are on Choose and Book as Indirectly Bookable Services under Cumbria Medical Services GPwSI Dermatology, Carpal Tunnel, Minor Surgery, Vasectomy and Ophthalmology. After the patient is given a booking reference number and password by their surgery, they ring our team on 01900 233170 who allocate an appointment at the site of the patient’s choice. We will fit in urgent cases where we can.
If a patient would like their hernia operated on in the community then this can be booked through choosing the option CMS GPwSI Hernia (under Surgical Services NOS), Arnside House in Carlisle or Victoria Cottage Hospital, Maryport.
Our admin team will then book the initial assessment at either Maryport or Carlisle before the patient is given an appointment for their surgery.
We are committed to providing a high quality service for our patients but acknowledge we may not get it right all the time. If you have any concerns or questions about our service then please don’t hesitate to contact our manager Anita Wilkinson on 01900 233170 or [email protected].