New and improved services for people needing urgent health care are to be provided in east Hampshire.
On Tuesday June 1, the Minor Injuries Unit at Petersfield Community Hospital will be upgraded to become an Urgent Treatment Centre.
The service will continue to be provided by staff from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. It will be GP-led and staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of different healthcare professionals.
Dr Zaid Hirmiz, a GP at Horndean who is Clinical Director South East Hampshire for NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said the move would have major benefits for local people and the NHS.
Dr Hirmiz said: “The main advantages are that local people who previously had to travel to receive urgent care can now go to Petersfield, instead of travelling further in either direction along the A3(M). “But it also means that this should relieve pressure elsewhere in the health service, including the Emergency Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.”
Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) offer a wider range of services to people than Minor Injuries Units, delivering both minor injury and illness services and additional diagnostic capabilities to treat a wider range of conditions. The Petersfield UTC will open 8am to 8pm 365 days a year.
Dr Hirmiz said: “The new UTC will enable the NHS to direct people to the most appropriate service for their needs, helping to keep the Emergency Department at Queen Alexandra free for the most serious and life threatening conditions.”
Sarah Woodman, head of operations for south east Hampshire at Southern Health, added: “This is a fantastic facility for people living in Petersfield and the surrounding areas, offering them a high quality and convenient option to get care and treatment for minor illnesses and ailments, as well as minor injuries. The team is really excited to be able to deliver an enhanced service for their patients.”
Patients will be encouraged to routinely access the service via the NHS 111 service – either online or by phone - and will be given pre-booked same day appointments if this is appropriate for their health needs.
The Minor Injuries Unit at Gosport War Memorial Hospital will also upgrade to an Urgent Treatment Centre later this year.
*Examples of conditions the new UTC will be able to treat include strains and sprains, skins infections and rashes, urine infections and constipation, suspected broken limbs, ear infections, emergency contraception, minor head injuries, feverish illness (adults and children) and minor scalds and burns.
Patients can still walk-in without booking an appointment via NHS 111. Walk-in patients will be clinically assessed by a triage nurse or other health professional but only be prioritised for treatment over pre-booked appointments where this is clinically necessary.