Visit Urgent Treatment Centres instead of A&E. That’s the walk-in and same day clinics, which have all been renamed and made simpler to understand.
There’s a national drive to standardise urgent care services across the UK to make it easier for patients to understand where to go. By December 2019 all urgent treatment centres will offer the same services, everywhere in the country.
Here on the Fylde Coast the changes have been made ahead of time.
- Our two big Fylde Coast clinics are both called ‘urgent treatment centres’ – before they were:
- the walk-in centre in Whitegate Drive, Blackpool,
- and the same day centre in Fleetwood, at Dock Street
You can access walk-in and pre-booked appointments in both buildings.
- Pre-booked appointments are available by calling NHS111 between 8am and 8pm seven days a week.
- Or walk-in
NHS 111 will book an appointment at an urgent treatment centre if needed, following a telephone consultation with a medical professional, or patients can just walk in. If clinically necessary an ambulance can take a patient to an urgent treatment centre after a call to 999 or 111.
If a patient pre-books they should be seen and treated within 30 minutes of their appointment time. Patients who “walk in” should be clinically assessed within 15 minutes of arrival and be given an appointment slot not more than 2 hours after arrival. Walk-in’s will only be prioritised for treatment over pre-booked appointments where it’s clinically necessary.
Visit Urgent Treatment Centres instead of A&E to see a GP
Urgent treatment centres are usually a GP led service. They’re open for at least 12 hours a day, every day of the week, every week of the year – including bank holidays. They also offer pre-bookable appointments.
They have access to simple diagnostics such as swabs and pregnancy tests and have access to x-ray facilities, as well as a range of other services. They can also issue prescriptions and e-prescriptions.
Because patients are confused about where to go, too many rely on A&E which is the wrong place for many of them. This is bad for the local NHS because it puts unnecessary pressure on A&E and other parts of the urgent and emergency care system.
By being able to get quick access to a GP without having to go to A&E it makes access to healthcare much easier all round.
When to Visit Urgent Treatment Centres instead of A&E
If life is in danger, patients should still call 999 or go to A&E.. But for ailments that need urgent treatment such as strains and sprains, fevers, eye problems or suspected broken limbs, an urgent treatment centre is much more appropriate.
Examples of the types of patients with conditions suitable for treatment at a UTC include:
- Strains and sprains
- Suspected broken limbs
- Minor head injuries
- Cuts and grazes
- Bites and stings
- Minor scalds and burns
- Ear and throat infections
- Skin infections and rashes
- Eye problems
- Coughs and colds
- Feverish illness in adults
- Feverish illness in children
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Emergency contraception
Find out More
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