Changes to a walk-in service could see A&E visitors benefiting from more choice and faster treatment

Patients could benefit if proposals to move a Shrewsbury NHS service get the go-ahead. The Shropshire Walk-In Centre is currently based at Monkmoor Road in Shrewsbury alongside a regular GP surgery.

However, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group has begun asking patients for their views on moving the service so that it sits alongside A&E at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) to create an Urgent Care Centre.

The move could happen now because the contract to provide the walk-in service at Monkmoor expires later this year. A contract to move the service to RSH would likely to be for a fixed-term of two-three years. Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group are also exploring options for urgent care including the potential for a similar service at the Princess Royal Hospital.

Dr Caron Morton, Accountable Officer for Shropshire CCG said: “We have started to gauge the opinion of patients who use this valuable service on whether they think it would be beneficial to make the move.

“As commissioners we see definite advantages for patients. In the most recent national report reviewing emergency and urgent care* there is evidence that a significant proportion of patients who go to A&E could have had their needs met by seeing a GP or other healthcare professional. This report also recommends using the term of Urgent Care Centre so patients are more able to understand where they need to go when they need help.

“If the move goes ahead the Urgent Care Centre would be located alongside A&E at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital seven days per week from 8am-8pm.

“It would mean people who have a minor injury or ailment who may go along to A&E would be able to be seen by the right health professional first time. It would also free up A&E staff to see those patients that need more specialist or emergency care. 

“Staff would be able to work closely alongside A&E staff, and this would allow for sharing of skills, knowledge and expertise between the walk-in service and A&E staff.  We believe this will improve care for patients and it reflects the national review.”

Graham Shepherd a patient member of the Urgent Care Project Team said “This is a real change to test a new way of providing urgent care and the learning will be helpful to inform the longer term plans in NHS Future Fit”.

Ends

* Transforming urgent and emergency care services in England Urgent and Emergency Care Review 
End of Phase 1 Report Nov 2013 

  • This decision is not part of the NHS Future Fit programme. NHS Future Fit has a far wider remit to review all hospital services not just those dealing with urgent and emergency care 
  • The development of the NHS Future Fit clinical model is informed and guided by both international evidence and best practice and also reflects the emerging themes from the NHS England Urgent and Emergency Care Review