In 2012/13 NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) undertook a review of Urgent Care Services within Halton. This review combined with a winter pressures Accident and Emergency Department (AED) audit helped inform an options appraisal as to how urgent care services within the Borough could potentially be reconfigured to ensure it met local demand/pressures.
A number of options were considered for the delivery of an urgent care model within Halton. The model chosen, following extensive consultation with both professionals/clinicians and members of the public, was to create 2 Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) on the site of the current Minor Injuries Unit at Halton Hospital at the Walk in Centre at Widnes.
The vision for the development and provision of Urgent Care services within Halton via the UCCs was to be achieved via a partnership/collaborative approach.
NHS Halton CCG invited Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to lead on the implementation of the UCCs.
As such the Trust brought together all key partner organisations to achieve this shared vision for urgent care provision in Halton. As part of this project, key relationships were required between:
- NHS Halton CCG
- Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Urgent Care 24
- North West Ambulance Service;
- North West Commissioning Support Unit
- Community Health Partnerships
- 5 Boroughs Partnership
- Halton Borough Council
At the beginning of the process a number of key benefits were identified to redesigning these centres into UCCs which included
- Provision of a service that meets with patient needs, either through immediate treatment or by arranging future appointments with the appropriate service
- Provision of an urgent care service that is accessible for the local population
- Provision of a service that caters for both minor injury and illness
- Improvement of performance by streaming patients into the appropriate service (e.g. reduction in A&E attendances)
- Ensuring that where people require urgent care this is received in an effective and timely manner
- Provision of a service that is safe and of high quality
- Provision of access for harder to reach groups of people (e.g. working men aged 18 -49)
Halton’s two UCCs are staffed by a team of on-site integrated healthcare professionals, they have diagnostics facilities and agreed pathways into other community, primary, social and secondary care services.
The Centres operate from 7am until 10.30pm (accepting patients up until 10pm), 365 days a year. NOTE: Radiology operates from 8am until 10pm, 365 days a year and both UCCs are able to accept patients from NWAS between 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week.
In addition to being able to assess/treat minor illnesses and injuries, the Centres are able to provide care to those presenting at the Centres will a range of other conditions, through the development of the necessary competencies of staff teams and agreed pathways of care.
The Runcorn UCC became operational from February 2015, whilst the Widnes UCC went fully operational from October 2015. The UCCs in Halton are:
- Widnes NHS Urgent Care Centre – located at the Health Care Resource Centre, Caldwell Road, Widnes WA8 7GD
- Runcorn NHS Urgent Care Centre – located at Halton Hospital, Hospital Way, Runcorn WA7 2DA.
Impact on Local Health Economy/Patients
If you have any queries or specific questions relating to anything contained in this briefing then please contact either Damian Nolan (Email: [email protected]/ Tel: 0151 511 8520) or Louise Wilson (Email: [email protected]/ Tel: 0151 511 8861)