Walk-in service helps thousands of patients

Scarborough Hospital Emergency Department.  12 january 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Scarborough Hospital Emergency Department. 12 january 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

More than 10,000 patients have benefited from a new urgent care service in Scarborough and Ryedale.

Figures released from NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) show that over 10,000 patients accessed the new urgent care service during its first three months of operation between April and June.

The service, which includes urgent care centres in Scarborough and Malton as well as providing a home visiting service and telephone advice, was launched in April following extensive consultation with local communities.

The need to develop the service was identified in 2013, as the contracts for three separate urgent care services were coming to an end.

Dr Peter Billingsley, local GP and lead for urgent care at the commissioning group, said: “We’re really pleased with how the new service is progressing and that it’s already benefited thousands of local patients.

“Our figures show that the vast majority of patients are getting their symptoms treated by the service, advised to self-care or to make an appointment with their own GP.

“These are patients who, before the launch of the service, may well have made the emergency department their first port of call which would not only have been inappropriate for their needs, but also created added pressure on emergency services.

“It’s still too early to say what impact the service is having on the emergency department, but this will become clearer over the next few months as more information is gathered, and the service becomes more established. The most important thing is that patients are providing positive feedback about the service and are getting the treatment and advice they need.”

Dr Billingsley added: “The vast majority of people using the service are being seen in less than 40 minutes, particularly those who make a same-day appointment by calling NHS 111.

“Waiting times for patients who just turn up at one of the urgent care centres are slightly longer, so I would encourage people to access the service by calling 111.”