Urgent Care Consultation - 20th September -12th December 2018
20th September 2018 - 12th December 2018
A new way to access urgent GP and nurse appointments, a new urgent care service for children, and the opening hours of an Urgent Treatment Centre for Wirral are among the proposals residents are invited to comment on in a consultation that could see a major transformation of local health services.
NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking residents for their views on its proposals for a new model of urgent care for Wirral.
Urgent care covers services that treat illnesses or injuries that are not life threatening, but where an urgent clinical opinion is needed within 24 hours. It includes services such as NHS 111, Walk-in Centres and Minor Illness/Injury Units as well as urgent GP appointments.
The proposed model has been developed following engagement with stakeholders which included a listening exercise with Wirral residents earlier this year.
This showed local people were confused about what urgent care services are available in Wirral and when to use them. It builds on national initiatives being progressed by NHS England to improve urgent care services across the country.
It is also in response to growing pressure on Wirral’s only Accident and Emergency (A & E) department. Almost half of people who attended Arrowe Park’s A&E last year could have been treated elsewhere, meaning that those with the greatest need are facing longer waits for care and treatment.
The CCG believes that it can help ease this pressure by giving people simpler choices when they need urgent care, and by making it easier to access.
The proposals will not see any changes to how people access their usual GP services. There will be a move away from existing walk-in services delivered at Walk-in Centres and Minor Injury/Illness Units although all other clinical services delivered at these locations will not be impacted by these proposals. Instead local people will be able to access bookable urgent appointments with either a GP or nurse within 24 hours (mostly on the same day), if their own GP practice is unable to provide an appointment. In addition a dedicated urgent care service for children is also proposed as well as a bookable dressings (wound care) service within four local areas across Wirral.
The CCG is also asking for views on the opening hours of a GP-led Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) for Wirral. The UTC is a national requirement and will provide a higher and more consistent level of clinical service than the current Walk-in Centres and Minor Illness and Injury Units. Walk-in and bookable appointments will be available at the UTC, which will be developed at the current Arrowe Park Walk-in Centre site. The CCG wants views on whether the UTC should be open for 15 or 24 hours a day.
The current Accident and Emergency Department located at Arrowe Park Hospital is not part of the proposed changes but will benefit from improved urgent care services in Wirral.
Dr Paula Cowan, Medical Director, said: “In our listening exercise, the people we spoke to made it very clear that they thought the variety of services available locally was confusing. This often leads to people moving between different services, taking longer to get the care they need, or using emergency services when they don’t need to. The model of care we’re proposing simplifies choice while offering more urgent care closer to home.
“We also want to introduce more urgent appointments to replace the walk-in option and we believe this will actually improve access. People won’t have to wait for an unspecified amount of time like they do currently, but will be able to fit an urgent appointment around their day. There will still be a walk-in facility for Wirral at the Urgent Treatment Centre, and we’re proposing a specialist walk-in and bookable urgent care service for children ages 0-19. We want people to be able to get the right care they need, first time.”
The CCG also welcomes any other views on the proposals, and will be taking its urgent care roadshow around Wirral during the consultation.
Dr Cowan added: “We want to redesign services to best meet the needs of individual communities and the needs of Wirral as a whole. This is not about saving money and we won’t be spending any less on urgent care services as a result of this proposal. We have a responsibility to make sure the local NHS is as efficient as it can be and our proposals have been carefully planned and include input from the public, stakeholders and NHS staff. We now need the people of Wirral to look at our proposals and share their views.”
What is the CCG asking in this consultation?
The CCG is asking Wirral residents 5 key questions.
1. How long do you think the Urgent Treatment centre should be open (15 hours or 24 hours)?
2. What do you think about having an urgent appointment in your local area which you can book, instead of a walk-in option?
3. What do you think of a local walk-in option for children with symptoms such as a temperature, in addition to bookable urgent appointments?
4. What is important to you when thinking about where the Childrens Urgent Care and dressings (Wound Care) service should be located?
5. Do you think that the model we are proposing improves on what we have now?
Visit www.wirralurgentcare.co.uk to read all of our consultation documents and share your views in an online survey.
For hard copies or alternative formats: email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0151 541 5416 or write to: Urgent Care Consultation, NHS Wirral CCG, Marriss House, Hamilton Street Birkenhead Wirral CH41 5AL.