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NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire confirm Urgent Treatment Centre hours at Newark Hospital to be extended following public consultation

Health leaders have made a decision on the future opening hours at Newark Hospital’s urgent treatment centre following feedback from residents, stakeholders and healthcare experts.

NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board has approved new permanent opening hours, saying that the move will provide sustainable, high-quality urgent care in Newark.

The urgent treatment centre will open from 8am to 10.30pm, seven days a week, offering an extended window for patients to access essential healthcare services.

Newark Urgent Treatment Centre
Newark Urgent Treatment Centre

Currently, the urgent treatment centre operates between 9am and 10pm.

The NHS anticipate that the new hours will come into effect this summer.

The change means that the service will be open for 14.5 hours per day, which exceeds the 12-hour minimum national standard for urgent treatment centre set by NHS England.

The centre at Newark Hospital, run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, provides urgent care and non-life-threatening treatment for injuries or conditions, such as cuts, simple broken bones, wounds, minor burns and minor head, eye and back injuries.

The current hours were originally adopted as a temporary measure due to staffing issues, but going forward, the urgent treatment centre will open earlier and longer in order to support people who need to access the service around working patterns and school times.

Although the hours have been extended from 10pm to 10.30pm, last patient admissions will remain at 9.30pm — the purpose of this extension is to allow more time for staff to finish caring for patients at the end of the day.

Newark Urgent Treatment Centre
Newark Urgent Treatment Centre

As part of the decision-making process, the Integrated Care Board engaged with residents and stakeholders to ensure that the preferred option for opening hours aligned with the community’s needs.

Feedback from over 2,000 Newark residents indicated the high value placed on the service received at the urgent treatment centre and while there was clearly a strong preference for a return to 24 hours opening, this was balanced against other factors within what the Integrated Care Board called a rounded evidence-based decision.

This decision follows a review by the East Midlands Clinical Senate and their subsequent recommendation to make permanent the overnight closure of the urgent treatment centre.

Victoria McGregor-Riley, commissioning delivery director of NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said: “Today’s announcement marks a positive and sustainable way forward for Newark Hospital and the people it serves.

“This has never been about money and it was not a financial decision.

“The decision to extend the opening hours at the urgent treatment centre strikes a balance between flexibility for the local population, current service usage, and operational and staffing levels.

“Traffic data showed that over night the urgent treatment centre was only received one to two patients compared to four to 6 during the day, so making the decision to move staff from nights to day means that we offer a better quality service during the day.

“We continue to be challenged around staffing, but the new times will allow staff to work more flexibly and we will continue to work with them to provide a good resilient service.

“We’re confident that a 14.5-hour service will better serve the community, providing sustainable, high-quality healthcare in and around Newark.”

Working in partnership with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Integrated Care Board say they will continue to assess the impact of the extended operating hours, monitoring usage and reviewing patient feedback to ensure we continue to provide a responsive service to local people.

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