1: What will the opening times of the Urgent Treatment Centre be?
The national specification is for Urgent Treatment Centres to be available for 12 hours a day. More work is needed to determine the most appropriate opening times for the Urgent Treatment Centre to be located at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, to meet local demand.
2: Outside of the 12 hours that the Urgent Treatment Centre is open, are patients limited to A&E?
Patients in need of urgent care should ring their GP Practice number in the first instance and they will be directed to the most appropriate service for advice or assessment and treatment. NHS 111 will also be available.
The A&E department will remain available for 24 hours a day, in addition, the 999 service will continue to be available for critical or life-threatening situations.
3: What will the opening times of the Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs be? This will be crucial to know whether the CCG has listened to what the residents of Bury want.
The Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs will be piloted at one site to test out this new approach. Feedback from this pilot will help to determine future services and opening times. Feedback from local people is very important in shaping these services and access to them. It is possible that services may be designed differently to meet the needs of Bury’s five neighbourhoods.
4: Will the Urgent Treatment Centre and Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs be fully resourced and staffed?
The services will be staffed by colleagues drawn from existing services as we explore alternative ways of working.
5: Will the Urgent Treatment Centre at Fairfield act as a triage to A&E?
The ‘streaming’ system at A&E will direct patients to the most appropriate service to meet their needs; this will be either the new Urgent Treatment Centre or the emergency department. There will be close working relationships between the two services, so that patients can move between the two services if appropriate.
6: Will there be a reduction in any other services as a result of putting in place and Urgent Treatment Centre and Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs (i.e. A&E)?
There will not be a reduction in services, however current types of services such as GP extended hours appointments and nurse led walk-in services will be delivered in a more integrated way in the future.
7: Regarding the Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs, it would be nice to know that the service proposed would be the new guaranteed minimum, rather than a temporary solution.
This is not a temporary solution. This is the way we want to deliver services going forward. We will need to continue to develop the model as we go forward and this will be informed by feedback and experience (of staff and patients).
8: There needs to be a clear distinction between the Urgent Treatment Centre and an Integrated Hubs.
The Urgent Treatment Centre will be located alongside A&E. It will provide care for patients who choose to attend A&E, where their need is assessed as being urgent but not an emergency. A patient will not be able to pre-book an appointment at the Urgent Treatment Centre, however, a health care professional i.e. a GP will be able to request an appointment for their patient if it is felt that the Urgent Treatment Centre would best meet their needs, for example, where diagnostic tests including X-Ray may be required.
The Integrated Hubs are more focussed on supporting our most vulnerable patients and patients with complex needs, who would benefit from a more integrated service whilst improving access to both routine and urgent care.
9: It is vital that as many walk-in services as possible are provided for homeless people.
We are committed to ensuring that homeless patients receive the same level of care as those with permanent addresses. Whilst access to urgent care is very important, it is also important that homeless people have access to primary care services (i.e. GP care) and that we make it easy for people to be able to register with any GP Practice. The proposal for services to work in a more integrated way through the new Integrated Hubs is likely to benefit homeless people.
10: I would like the Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs to be permanent and not just ‘initially’.
We talk about having ‘initially’ three Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs, and this is referring to plans to have five in total in the future, one in each neighbourhood within Bury. There are no plans for the Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs to be a temporary solution.
11: It is difficult to make informed comments without a clear breakdown of how the proposals compare with current provisions.
The Urgent Treatment Centre will be a new and additional resource running alongside the A&E department at Fairfield General Hospital providing care for patients who attend A&E, where their need is assessed as being urgent but not an emergency. This will ensure appropriate and timely care whilst keeping the emergency department available to care for the poorliest of patients.
Walk-in services will be retained. The two current Walk-in Centre services along with the three current GP evening and weekend appointment services will evolve, along with other services, to become Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs providing a range of services.
Teams working in both the Urgent Treatment Centre and Integrated Health and Social Care Hubs would have access to medical records and the promotion of self-care will be a key message that will be consistently promoted in the future.
Patients in need of urgent care should ring their GP Practice number in the first instance and they will be directed to the most appropriate service for advice or assessment and treatment.