Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will provide a temporary, 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) on the Grantham Hospital site.
The decision to introduce a temporary UTC was taken by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Board of Directors earlier this month, as part of plans to provide a COVID-free ‘Green’ site at Grantham Hospital.
By not admitting emergency patients, who cannot be tested for coronavirus before arrival, the new UTC will help to safeguard the COVID free status of the hospital site and mean urgent treatment for conditions including cancer can be delivered in as safe a way as possible.
To ensure consistency of care for local people, LCHS has taken steps to ensure that many of the staff who worked in the former Grantham Accident and Emergency department will be providing care and support at the new UTC.
Although the new temporary Urgent Treatment Centre is open for walks-ins 24/7, LCHS is asking patients to Talk before you Walk to ensure they get the right care, first time, every time by:
- calling NHS111
- visiting 111.NHS.uk online or
- downloading the NHS app.
Using the free NHS 111 service offers a number of major benefits for patients including:
- telephone and online video consultations with a clinician to diagnose symptoms and arrange treatment from a prescription, available to collect from a local pharmacy to sending an ambulance – all in the comfort of your own home
- making sure vital clinical resources are targeted at those people most in need of urgent care, helping the local community and the NHS to meet demand and reduce patient waiting times.
Tracy Pilcher, Deputy Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and Director of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals and Operations said:
“The Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust team is committed to providing high quality and safe services to meet the healthcare needs of people living in and around the Grantham area.
We have more than 10 years’ experience providing urgent care services at Louth, Lincoln, Peterborough, Boston and Skegness to ensure patients attending our new centre at Grantham receive a good quality service – highlighted by the most recent 2018 Care Quality Commission (CQC) report which rated our Urgent Treatment Centres as outstanding for responsiveness.
To help patients get the right clinical help in the most convenient way to avoid unnecessary waiting times, we’re encouraging people to ‘Talk before you Walk’ before deciding to visit the Urgent Treatment Centre.
Talk before you Walk ensures that people who might need clinical care can access the full range of Urgent Treatment Centre services online or on the phone to get the right care at the right time in the right place to meet their needs.
We’d like to thank the local community for their support and look forward to delivering the clinical care they need.”
Chief Executive at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Andrew Morgan, said: “We continue to manage a global pandemic situation, but are working to find ways to offer a wider range of services to our patients where we can safely do so.
“We have thoroughly reviewed how we can offer more urgent elective care, such as cancer care, elective surgery, diagnostic and outpatient services whilst minimising the risk of infection where possible. This is of huge importance, as we have thousands of patients in Lincolnshire who are waiting for urgent treatment, including cancer care, and we need to find a way to provide this for them.
“We have determined that the best way to do this in the short term is to create a COVID-free hospital site to deliver most of this routine care in the short term. Grantham is the obvious choice for this.
“We have been and will continue to work very closely with our colleagues from LCHS to enable them to provide this 24/7 urgent treatment centre for the people of Grantham and the surrounding area.
“We know this change to the emergency care offer at Grantham will be of concern to our local population, but I would like to reassure everyone that this is a necessary step to ensure that we can deliver more elective care for the whole population of Lincolnshire in as safe a way as possible. I’d also like to make it very clear that this is only a temporary measure during these exceptional times.”
New signage has been installed in the car park to direct patients and visitors to the Urgent Treatment Centre. Visitor car parking remains free of charge in line with national guidelines.