A new overnight treatment service is set to be launched for patients requiring urgent care for minor injuries and illness.
From Sunday, January, 5, 2020 patients in Easington and Sedgefield, who require urgent care between midnight and 8am, may be eligible to receive a home visit by calling NHS111.
The new service introduced by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) and NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) follows the approved planned closure of overnight walk-in services at Peterlee Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC).
Peterlee Urgent Treatment Centre doors will close at 11:59pm on Sunday January 5 2020 with the first overnight service commencing 00:00am on Monday January 6 2020.
Dr Stewart Findlay, Chief Officer at DDES CCG said: “We know that very few people attend Peterlee Urgent Treatment Centre overnight.
“We have worked closely with CDDFT to re-design the service in a way which is more convenient for patients by removing the need for them to travel in the early hours of the morning to receive treatment.
“If a patient needs to be seen urgently, between midnight and 8am, a clinician will now come to their home with the most urgent cases seen within one hour.”
Peterlee UTC will continue to open daily between 8am and midnight. It will close between midnight and 8am – patients will no longer be able to walk-in to the centre for treatment during these hours.
Patients requiring treatment for minor injuries and illness will be required to call NHS111.
The local NHS111 team will ask questions to understand the patient’s clinical need.
Patients who would have previously been asked to attend Peterlee Urgent Treatment Centre will instead speak directly to a clinician who will discuss and agree the most appropriate care or treatment.
This may include a home visit or an appointment with another service depending on clinical need.
Common conditions that can be treated by UTC practitioners include:
- Cuts and grazes
- Sprains and strains
- Simple broken bones
- Wound and wound infections
- Minor burns and scalds
- Minor head injuries
- Insect and animal bites
- Minor eye injuries (foreign bodies in eye)
- Minor back injuries
- Emergency contraception
- Skin infections/rashes/allergic reactions
- Urine infections
- Raised temperature/fever
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
- Ear and throat infections
A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have carefully reviewed the use of the urgent treatment centre overnight in Peterlee, together with our partners in the local clinical commissioning group.
“The review highlighted that the service was being used by very few people overnight and that actually by re-designing the service we could offer people better alternatives during this time.
“This might include a home visit or a phone call from a GP to determine clinical need – after being accessed through the 111 service.
“We will continue to monitor the services following the change.”