A new urgent treatment centre (UTC) has opened in Tower Hamlets today, offering GP-led healthcare 24 hours a day, seven days a week to local residents.
The Tower Hamlets UTC will begin on a three month test and will be run by the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group in collaboration with Barts Health NHS Trust and East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). The service is located in Clinic 1 at the The Royal London Hospital’s (RLH) Cavell Entrance on Stepney Way.
Recognising how confusing it can be for patients to know where to go to get the right care for their urgent medical concerns, this change is in line with the national NHS long term plan, which has commissioners across England redesigning urgent care services to make sure patients receive consistently safe and fast care when they need it.UTCs are equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments that people have when they attend A&E.
The Tower Hamlets UTC can be accessed at any time of the day or night via calling NHS 111, which directs callers to the most appropriate healthcase service for their needs. Patients who go to The Royal London Hospital A&E department with non-life-threatening illnesses will be assessed and directed to the UTC, a three-minute walk across the hospital from A&E.
The UTC service is one option in the wide range of local healthcare services available. This includes visiting your local pharmacist for advice about treatments without needing to book an appointment, ringing your GP practice for bookable GP services, the GP Out of Hours and GP Extended Access services as well as self-care at home.
Tracy Cannell, Joint Chief Executive GP Care Group, said: “The Urgent Treatment Centre deals with minor ailments and help people access primary health care services for any ongoing needs on a 24/7 basis. This will mean A&E can focus on providing emergency care for life-threatening conditions.”
Sir Sam Everington, chair of Tower Hamlets CCG, said: “The changes will make it easier for patients to get the right care first time as well as to make better use of NHS resources. If you need urgent care, day or night, the Urgent Treatment Centre will be there for you.”
Jackie Sullivan, Chief Executive of The Royal London Hospital said: "This change will simplify the pathway to the right care and help ease the pressure on our emergency department, so we can provide the safest care possible to those in life-threatening situations."?
Anyone with serious injuries or a potentially life-threatening medical emergency should dial 999 or attend the hospital’s A&E.
For more information visit the Tower Hamlets Urgent Treatment Centre page.