THE Urgent Care Centre at the Alexandra Hospital is set to open in December.
The Centre, which is part of the region’s Strategic Transformation Plan, should help ease the pressure on Accident & Emergency as winter approaches.
The GP-led Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will work alongside A&E at the Alex, and will treat adults and children with minor or moderate illnesses and injuries.
Health chiefs say the new service will not result in the further downgrading of the hospital’s A&E.
Redditch MP Rachel Maclean, who recently met with the Simon Trickett, accountable officer for Worcestershire’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and chief operating officer Mari Gay, has welcomed the news.
Back in February, after speaking to residents who were angry the UCC still wasn’t operational despite health bosses promising residents the service last year, she launched a petition calling on the CCG to bring it forward without delay.
Rachel said: “Finally the CGG has confirmed when the Urgent Care Centre will open at the Alex. I’ve been calling for this new service to open for months now, so I very much welcome the announcement.
“The Alex has continued to treat children brought by ambulance during the period there has been no A&E provision, so no child has been put at risk through lack of an emergency response during this period. The staff have been trained to assess and treat under 16s brought to their doors, in addition to paramedics and ambulance staff being able to treat patients.
“The Urgent Care Centre will provide parents with peace of mind that their children can still be treated at the Alex, which is currently the case at the moment. I hope this new service will also reduce pressures on A&E as it will provide residents with a real alternative to Accident and Emergency.
“It’s great to see a brand-new service opening at our hospital. This clearly demonstrates the Alex has a bright future and is essential to the delivery of healthcare in Worcestershire.”
The Urgent Care Centre will be staffed by a GP and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. It will open from 12noon until 9pm, seven days a week to provide Redditch residents with an alternative to A&E when they need urgent treatment.
The ongoing concern around ambulance delays at Worcestershire Royal was also discussed at Rachel’s meeting with the CCG.
“It is simply unacceptable to see ambulances queuing outside the Worcestershire Royal. It’s clear there is an issue with assessing patients which is leading to this situation.”