Christmas has come earlier than expected in Gainsborough, following Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS) NHS Trust’s decision to upgrade the town’s existing Minor Injury Unit at the John Coupland Hospital to an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC).
The change will be officially introduced on Monday next week (2/11/20) and underlines LCHS’s commitment to provide a consistent level of urgent treatment care across Lincolnshire, to safeguard the county’s busy A&E services facing winter flu and coronavirus admissions.
LCHS already provides Urgent Treatment Centres at Lincoln, Skegness, Boston, Louth, Peterborough and, on a temporary basis at Grantham. The Trust was rated as Outstanding for responsiveness by the CQC in their most recent report.
Benefits of an Urgent Treatment Centre for patients include bookable appointments - introduced at Gainsborough last month in readiness for the switch to a UTC level of service - and a range of additional services including X-rays, pregnancy, urine and blood tests.
The team of 12 staff based at the Gainsborough UTC include nine Advanced Clinical Practitioners with a combined experience of over 200 years. Advanced Practitioners are experienced nurses and paramedics who have undertaken additional training to Master’s level and will be supported by doctors, nurses, therapists and other health professionals.
Tracy Pilcher, deputy chief executive and director of nursing, allied health professionals and operations at LCHS, said:
“The opening of our latest Urgent Treatment Centre at Gainsborough underlines our commitment to offer quality care, closer to home for people in Lincolnshire.
“Our Gainsborough Urgent Treatment Centre will now be able to provide urgent medical attention for a range of conditions including strains and sprains, broken limbs, cuts and grazes to coughs and colds, stomach pains and minor eye problems.
“Our friendly team will be joined by some new faces to deliver the same high levels of care available at our other urgent care sites across the county.
“To help us help our patients, especially with the busier winter months ahead and the challenges of coronavirus, we’re encouraging patients who need medical help or advice to Talk before you Walk and call the free NHS 111 service, available 24/7 to get the right care to meet their needs. The NHS 111 service can arrange an appointment at any one of our local urgent treatment centres, helping to minimise waiting times and supporting social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All calls to NHS 111 from landlines and mobiles are free.”
A well as offering arranging appointments at local urgent treatment centres, the NHS 111 service can also:
- arrange a prescription to collect from a local pharmacy
- provide a telephone or video consultation with a local experienced clinician
- signpost to other services including emergency dentists, late opening pharmacies for medical advice and community nurses
- offer general medical advice, help and support.
NHS 111 is available online at 111.nhs.uk, by calling 111 or using the NHS 111 app.
Patients who choose to visit the Gainsborough UTC in person will be assessed and, depending on their clinical needs, may be offered an appointment to come back later for treatment.
The Gainsborough Urgent Treatment Centre is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
Latest figures show that 250 people visited the former Gainsborough Minor Injury Unit in September, with finger and leg wounds, sprained ankles, skin dressings and sprained knees the most common illnesses requiring treatment.