Patients at King’s Mill Hospital are to benefit from improved urgent care services.
Plans are being submitted to make changes to the emergency department at King’s Mill Hospital and at the Minor Injuries Unit/Urgent Care Centre in Newark Hospital in order to make access to health services simpler for patients.
The proposals are to create a system which enables patients to access the most appropriate services such as Primary Care 24 and the emergency department quickly and easily at King’s Mill Hospital.
Plans for Newark Minor Injuries Unit/Urgent Care Centre will provide additional consulting rooms so that healthcare staff, including hospital staff and GPs, can work alongside each other. The two services are currently in separate locations.
The changes follow feedback from patients who said it was often confusing whether to go to the Emergency Department or Primary Care 24 at King’s Mill Hospital, or between the Minor Injuries Unit/Urgent Care Centre and GP services at Newark Hospital.
The improvements will result in more integrated healthcare services, improving the way patients are initially assessed and allowing different healthcare staff at both locations to work in a more joined up way.
This is being funded as part of a successful bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund during 2014 - money set aside to improve access to GP services. The improvements will cost in the region of £1.2 million, about half the amount at each hospital.
Local GP and clinical lead for urgent care, Dr Mark Folman said: “The way that our emergency and urgent care services work together is critical to sustainable services; and new consulting rooms will help hospital and community services to really integrate and help meet the future challenges set out in NHS England’s ‘Five Year Forward View’.
“GPs provide thousands of urgent appointments every day, and the public know that emergency departments or urgent care centres are also an option.
This is good news because it will help ensure patients get the best care through those services working more closely together.”
Paul O’Connor, chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals who run King’s Mill Hospital and Newark Hospital, said: “Urgent Care services are for those patients who do not need our emergency services, but patients are often confused about where to go for the best, most appropriate treatment.
Patients need quick access to the right service, and having GPs working alongside hospital and community staff will give patients invaluable access to a range of clinical expertise in one location.”
The investment at Newark will help meet the proposals set out in the Vision and Strategic Direction for Newark Hospital to strengthen urgent care services.
The plans are an important part of the Better Together transformation programme – a five-year plan to transform health and social care services to improve services whilst also making them sustainable to meet the growing demands on health services across Mansfield and Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood.
Primary Care 24 and the out-of-hours GP service is operated by Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services (CNCS). Chief executive Richard Carroll commented: “As a Social Enterprise, we are keen to support the Better Together transformation programme and the single front door scheme to benefit local communities. We will certainly do all we can to support these initiatives, to further improve the provision of out of hours care across all our communities and help the healthcare organisations to realise their ambitions.”