NHS Seeks Views on Proposal for New QEII Urgent Care Centre

NHS Seeks Views on Proposal for New QEII Urgent Care Centre

Local residents are being asked for their views on a proposal to change the opening hours at the Welwyn Garden City Urgent Care Centre for minor injuries and illnesses.

Since the Urgent Care Centre opened in 2015, it has been very well used during the day, with an average of 118 people using the centre during a typical 24 hour period.  The CCG regularly promotes the Urgent Care Centre to local residents and the health advice service NHS 111 signposts callers to its services.  However, between 10pm and 6am, on average less than one person per hour uses the Urgent Care Centre.   

Of the small number of people who do use the Urgent Care Centre overnight, the vast majority (86%) leave without the need for further investigation and require no treatment.  

NHS East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local GP-led NHS organisation, wants to hear local people’s views on its proposal to close the Urgent Care Centre during the hours it is used infrequently, between 10pm and 8am.  This would mean that during this period, highly skilled nursing staff currently based at the Urgent Care Centre could instead support patients with serious or life-threatening conditions in the A&E department at the Lister Hospital.  Under this proposal, anyone who arrived before 10pm would be treated at the Urgent Care Centre.

Dr Prag Moodley, a GP and Chair of East and North Hertfordshire CCG said: “We are committed to ensuring that our local population can access high quality urgent care and emergency health services, against a difficult background of increasing demand, an ageing population and recruitment challenges.  We have to make the best use of highly skilled, clinically trained NHS staff, and we believe that when the Urgent Care Centre isn’t busy, the best use of their skills is to help people with life-threatening emergencies in our A&E at the Lister Hospital.”

Over the next 12 weeks, a series of public drop-in events and meetings will be held in a variety of community locations during the day and in the evenings and weekends, to give people a chance to discuss the proposal with doctors and nurses from the CCG and from East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. 

The Urgent Care Centre is just one of the ways in which people in Welwyn and Hatfield can get medical help outside of normal GP surgery hours.

Patients can see a GP or nurse ‘out-of-hours’ by calling or going online to NHS 111. If necessary, urgent GP appointments can be booked through NHS 111, either at patients’ homes if they are too ill to travel, or at a local base, including one in Welwyn Garden City.

The CCG has also worked with GP practices to introduce evening and weekend appointments. These ‘extended access’ appointments mean patients can book either a routine or an urgent appointment to see a GP or practice nurse from 8am-8pm on weekdays, from 8am-4pm on Saturdays, and 8am-12pm on Sundays. 

Find out more and share your views on the challenges and proposal for the Urgent Care Centre at https://qeiiucc.enhertsccg.nhs.uk  

The engagement period will end on Wednesday 4 September, 2019.  

Here are the ways that you can get involved:

  • Visit the CCG website https://qeiiucc.enhertsccg.nhs.uk to read more detailed information on our proposal
  • Request printed copies of the information, information in other formats (including braille) and non-English language versions of the proposal by phoning 01707 685140 or emailing enhertsccg.engagement@nhs.net
  • Come along to one of our drop-in discussion events or meeting. Dates and venues are available on the website at https://qeiiucc.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/events 
  • Submit your views by completing our questionnaire, available online through: https://qeiiucc.enhertsccg.nhs.uk
  • Send paper copies of the questionnaire or submit the views of your organisation by post, to arrive by Wednesday 4 September, to:  Opinion Research Services, Freepost SS1018, PO Box 530, Swansea, SA1 1ZL (no need for a stamp).

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Led by local GPs, East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group plans, designs and buys health services for 597,000 people in Hertfordshire, and monitors the quality and effectiveness of those services. 
  2. Please contact the communications team at East and North Hertfordshire CCG with any media queries on 01707 685140 or enhertsccg.communications@nhs.net