New urgent treatment centres proposed to shake-up health services in Shropshire
Health chiefs are developing plans for urgent treatment centres in Shropshire in a bid to take pressure off over-stretched A&E departments.
It could mean a shake-up to opening times for the urgent care centre at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and GP streaming service at Princess Royal Hospital, which would both be known as urgent treatment centres (UTC).
It is proposed they would be open between 9am and 9pm and offer treatment for minor injuries and illness.
The urgent care service at RSH is currently open from 8am to 8pm, while the service at PRH opens between 10am and 10pm.
Under the new model, patients who call 111 and are assessed as needing to visit a UTC would be offered a pre-booked appointment slot.
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Health chiefs have stressed that this will not change plans to have 24/7 urgent care centres at both RSH and PRH in the future, as part of the Future Fit plans.
But health commissioners say there is a national mandate to provide UTCs by the end of this year.
Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups are working together to develop the new contract for urgent treatment in the county.
Bosses say it is an opportunity to look at how services can be improved.
People are being asked to give their feedback by filling in a survey, with responses needed by the end of today.
In a joint statement, Dr Julie Davies, director of performance and delivery at Shropshire CCG, and Fran Beck, executive lead for commissioning from Telford & Wrekin CCG, said: “It is a national mandate for all local systems to provide UTCs by December 2019 and we are currently working on a new contract to deliver this service in line with the national guidance.
"This will be an important step in the transition from services currently provided towards the delivery of the urgent care centres as defined as part of the Future Fit programme.
"We are using the national UTC specification as the basis for this contract and are proposing the service would operate in line with the national guidance for 12 hours a day.
“The proposed opening times are being considered as 9am – 9pm based on the latest clinical data and evidence on when people are using the service.
"This aims to ensure it is open during the busiest times and can therefore treat the most people and also support the emergency department.
"Demand will continue to be monitored and the opening times of the UTCs will be matched to the times of peak demand.
“As part of the new contract, and following the national mandate from NHS England, the urgent care centre at Shrewsbury and the GP streaming service at Princess Royal would both be known as UTCs.
"They would both offer urgent care treatment for minor injuries and illness and patients who call 111 who are assessed as needing to visit an urgent treatment centre would be offered a pre-booked appointment slot.”
To fill in the survey, visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/urgenttreatment