NHS walk-in service set to launch at A&E

Scarborough Hospital Emergency Department.  12 january 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Scarborough Hospital Emergency Department. 12 january 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

A new urgent care walk-in service is due to launch on Wednesday at Scarborough Hospital’s A&E department.

The 24/7 service will replace the walk-in and GP out-of hours services which were run from the Castle Health Centre in York Place.

Over the past 18 months, urgent care services in the town have been redesigned by NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) following a consultation with local residents and clinicians.

The new provider was confirmed in October as Northern Doctors Urgent Care, part of the Vocare Group.

John Harrison, chief executive of Northern Doctors said: “We have spent the last four months preparing for this service to go live on April 1.

“We have developed solid relationships with Scarborough Hospital and other local health care providers, and will work together to continue to develop patient services over the coming months and years.”

Urgent care is for illnesses and injuries that need immediate attention, but are not life-threatening. It is something that can’t wait to be seen by a GP, but not seriuos enough to attend A&E.

The service will be co-located within the existing emergency department at Scarborough Hospital. Home visits will also be provided where appropriate.

The best way for patients to access the service is by calling 111. If they require urgent care, a same-day appointment will be made for them to visit their nearest urgent care centre, as there is also one being launched in Malton.

Alternatively, patients can go directly to one of the centres and wait to be seen. However patients are urged to call 111 to reduce the time they may have to wait at the centre.

Dr Peter Billingsley, local GP and lead for urgent care, said: “The opening of this new service is a significant milestone in our efforts to improve local health services for the benefit of local residents.

“Around 3,000 people in the area access urgent care services each month and having one service that covers the whole of Scarborough and Ryedale will ensure that everyone has access to same quality of care, when they need it.

“It will also help to reduce pressure on emergency services by giving people a real alternative for getting minor injuries and illnesses treated rather than dialling 999 or going straight to the emergency department.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to share their views with us as part of the development of this service and I am confident that the new service will meet the needs of you and your family.”

To support the opening of the new service, the clinical commissioning group has launched a promotional campaign called “Right care, first time”, which aims to raise awareness of the types of health services available using a simple colour-coding approach.

Andy Hudson, the commissioning group’s lead for public involvement, said: “Simplifying the urgent care service gave us a great opportunity to refresh our campaign to help signpost patients to the most appropriate service for their needs.

“Our campaign uses four colours to help patients navigate different types of health service and was developed with the input from patient representatives. Keep an eye out for the materials in your local pharmacy or GP practice.” Find out more at www.scarboroughryedaleccg.nhs.uk