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Newark Hospital urgent care centre to be closed overnight for another six months to help Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust manage coronavirus outbreak

THE temporary closure of Newark Hospital's urgent care centre has been extended for another six months.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, which runs the hospital, said the extension was part of its ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The urgent care centre will now be closed from 9.30pm to 9am for an additional six months from July 6.

Newark Hospital.. (4147368)
Newark Hospital.. (4147368)

The overnight closure was initially introduced in April as part of the trust's response to covid-19.

Richard Mitchell, the trust's chief executive, said: “This is a planned move in order for us to maintain a safe level of staffing, to focus staff where we need them the most during this challenging time and to mitigate any staff absence due to covid-19.

“We did not believe we would have been able to guarantee we could safely continue to staff Newark UCC overnight, while also providing the level of staff required to care for Covid patients across the Trust.

"Whilst the number of Covid positive patients we are caring for has reduced, we are now addressing the more complicated issue of safely restoring services.

“We do not anticipate the current issues around staffing to ease in the near future, with the impact of antibody testing for all colleagues and the potential for groups of colleagues to be required to isolate as part of Test and Trace protocols making it difficult to plan staffing levels with confidence.

“We know the number of patients seen overnight at Newark is traditionally low and was reducing further at the start of the pandemic, and we thank partners and colleagues for safely helping us introduce these measures.

“We have always worked closely with Clinical Commissioning Group colleagues and other health partners regarding our service offer at Newark Hospital and in this instance we are collectively agreed this is in the best interest of patients and the overall health services in our area. Patients can always get urgent support for their health needs through accessing 111 online or over the phone."

Mr Mitchell said Newark Hospital remained a key part of the service at Sherwood Forest Hospitals.

Elective surgery restarted at Newark Hospital on June 10 ­— before it restarted at King’s Mill.”

The urgent care centre will be open from 9am until 9.30pm and operating as usual during this time, allowing for walk-in patients to attend for urgent care needs.

Anyone who needs urgent care between 9.30pm and 9am should attend their next nearest Urgent Care facility or to access NHS111 online or over the phone for advice.

The 111 service will be able to provide advice about whether patients need an overnight consultation and get clinical advice where required. In an emergency, you should phone 999.

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