Pontefract Hospital will launch its Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) on April 9th 2018. Pontefract is one of the first places in the country to offer this service, which will be open 24/7, 365 days a year to treat people with non-life-threatening conditions.
The decision to rename the service as an Urgent Treatment Centre follows work carried out over the summer by NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to seek the views of the public and clinicians on new national guidance on urgent and emergency care.
Public engagement, carried out with support from Healthwatch Wakefield, showed that most people surveyed (79 per cent) didn’t know that Pontefract Hospital was unable to treat life-threatening conditions as the service does not have on-site back up facilities or specialist staff to treat people who have very serious illness or injuries.
It was agreed that renaming the emergency department at Pontefract an Urgent Treatment Centre would help people make the right choice about where to go in an emergency.
As a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre, Pontefract Hospital will continue to provide a wide range of tests, including blood and urine tests and X-rays, and treatment for people who attend with illnesses and minor injuries, such as sprains, fractures and wounds that need stitches.
Dr Adam Sheppard, Urgent Care Lead for NHS Wakefield CCG said: “Most patients using the service shouldn’t notice any difference in the care that is offered, other than the sign above the door.
“This is about making it more clear how urgent care services across the district fit together so that local people get the safest possible care when they have an urgent health need.”
Dr Sarah Robertshaw, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have examples of very seriously ill patients who are brought to Pontefract Hospital in an emergency and have needed to be stabilised and transferred. Our advice is to always call an ambulance if someone is seriously ill. Paramedics are highly trained clinicians and will start treatment straight away and take them to the right place.
“For people who have less serious conditions and are unlikely to need to be admitted to hospital, the Urgent Treatment Centre will offer fast access to the same wide range of specialist tests and treatment that have been available at Pontefract for many years.
“Keeping Pontefract as a 24/7 service for people with urgent health needs means we can make the best use of the facilities and workforce we have in the district.”
Pontefract Hospital will also continue to provide all of the routine care that is provided there such as planned care, surgery, outpatient clinics and rehabilitation.
Notes to editors
For further information, please contact Senior Communications Officer Amy Byard on 01924 315745 or email press.officewakefieldccg.nhsuk.
Pontefract UTC can treat:
· Strains, sprains and suspected broken bones
· 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