Public urged to attend meeting over urgent care changes at Newark Hospital
PEOPLE have been urged to attend engagement sessions to find out about proposed changes to urgent care in Newark and Sherwood.
Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recently announced changes, including the renaming of the Urgent Care Centre in the town to the Urgent Treatment Centre, which it said should help reduce the number of people going to emergency departments.
It said the proposed changes would encourage people to go to emergency departments only if they were in a life- threatening situation, and instead call 111 where they would be directed towards suitable medical attention.
Through a series of engagement sessions the CCG has been gauging public opinion on the potential changes.
In the most recent session, on Tuesday, the public were invited to talk about proposals to the 111 system.
The NHS 111 clinical lead for Nottinghamshire, Dr Christine Johnson, said the aim was to make the system less confusing and more standardised.
Dr Johnson said: “The idea is that people can ring 111 and be directed, through a series of clinical questions, to the best place to suit their needs.
“With GP out-of-hours, walk-in centres and emergency departments, often people do not know where to go and when.”
Secretary of the Say Yes To Newark Hospital campaign, Mr Paul Baggaley, is concerned the changes would lead to the further downgrading of Newark Hospital.
He said: “I am concerned the changes may reduce the opening hours of the Urgent Care Centre.”
The last engagement session is on October 16, from 6.30pm to 8pm, at the Holy Trinity Community and Partnership Centre.
The closure of Newark Hospital’s emergency department has not led to more deaths, a study has found.
The work by the University of Sheffield analysed five emergency departments that had closed, including Newark in 2011 — looking at figures two years prior to closure and two years post-closure.
Newark was in line with the study’s overall conclusion that the closure of an emergency department does not result in increased death rates.
Increases in journey time can be offset by other factors such as the introduction of new specialist services.
The chief officer of Newark and Sherwood CCG, Amanda Sullivan, said: “The recent study should help to reassure patients that travelling to a major acute hospital is safe, as well as clinically appropriate, when they require treatment in an emergency.
“The report clearly states that new specialist services and more effective care can offset any negative effects caused by increased journey time. Newark is a prime example of how this is working on a local scale.
“Specialist services based at the hospital and in the local community have made great improvements to patient experience as well as health outcomes in recent years.”