Albany after-hours GP Collaborative service now open

The Albany community can now have their urgent healthcare needs dealt with on weekends and public holidays, with a new after-hours GP clinic now open.

Located next to the Albany Health Campus emergency department, the clinic is for those situations when it’s not an emergency, but it can’t wait until the next day.

The walk-in clinic is open on weekends and public holidays – hours vary based on community demand.

The service is led by nurse practitioners with support from local GPs, who are always available for advice.

If the person’s condition means they would be better treated in the adjacent emergency department, clinic staff will let them know.

The service was established by five large general practices, collectively known as the Albany Afterhours GP Collaborative.

It will complement existing GP services available in Albany, as the patient’s regular doctor will be notified so they can continue to provide ongoing care, as appropriate.

The service was established through funding from the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) via its Country WA PHN who was instrumental in establishing the project.

WA Primary Health Alliance regional manager Lesley Pearson, nurse practitioner Jemma Mustey and GP Collaborative practice manager Terry MacKinley testing out the new clinic. Credit: The Great Southern Weekender

WAPHA regional manager, Lesley Pearson, said the new service allows urgent illness and injuries, that might usually be dealt with by a GP during normal hours, to be treated in an appropriate setting after hours.

Ms Pearson said, “This also frees up emergency department staff to deal with more serious cases.”

“However, we would encourage people to ask themselves if they can wait until their usual GP is open, as your own GP knows you and your needs like no-one else.”

GP Collaborative Practice Manager, Terry McKinley, said the GP Collaborative model is unique and it’s great for the community that local doctors are working together.

Mr McKinley said, “As the clinic service demand grows, we plan to increase the operating hours to ensure we continue to meet the community’s needs.”

WA Country Health Service Regional Director, David Naughton, said, “We are delighted to provide premises within our hospital for the GP after-hours service, and we are working closely with them to ensure the new service complements the work of our emergency department.”