Single Point of Access (SPA) for NE Lincs

Published: 16 February, 2016
Single Point of Access (SPA) for NE Lincs

Okay so it may not be this weekend’s winning lottery numbers, the number for the man/women of your dreams or the best takeaway in the world but by the end of this article I need to convince you to save a number to your phone.

Who would you call if you were worried about an elderly relative living alone and struggling to cope?
or if your mental health was troubling you?
or if you had an ill child and your normal GP practice was closed?

In North East Lincolnshire the answer is simple - 01472 256256 – the local Single Point of Access.

Really? I hear you ask. One number for all of those queries and more? Yes it’s true, innovation in health and care might not be the first things you think of when you think of NE Lincs but this area benefits from a true Single Point of Access (which it got because residents said they wanted one) and is offering residents a service that other areas aspire to. Since Autumn 2015 there has only been one number you need to keep to hand to talk about all your health and wellbeing needs - and what’s more it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Everyone knows an illness doesn’t suddenly get better once the GP Practice is closed and in some cases, speaking from experience when I was a first time mum with a poorly baby, you just need some reassurance in the middle of the night that what you’re doing is right (in my case just carry on with the best invention ever – Calpol!). But if you are ill and can’t wait until the GP is next open or you have a query about needing some support at home – you won’t need to go round the houses to find the support you need.

Where once there was more than one Single Point of Access (ironic eh?) now there truly is only one. It includes advice on the following:

- GP Out of Hours
- Mental Health Services
- Social Work Support
- Adult Social Care
- Wellbeing Advice

So there’s no need to scrabble round for a different number for each, you just need to store one number in your phone. (just a reminder - this might seem obvious but for immediate, life threatening emergencies please call 999.)

If you still need convincing that you need to store this number, another great feature is the fact that the calls are taken in Grimsby, by experienced, local people from a range of professional backgrounds including nurses, social workers and mental health staff. It’s reassuring that they can help you with directions to the late night chemist they’ve just told you about or details of where to get local mobility aids.

So, if you do one thing after reading this article – save 01472 256256 into your phone – you just never know when you might need it.

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Written by: Michelle Webb

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