Issue - meetings
Urgent Care Transformation
The Chairman allowed three members of the public to address the Committee with their opinions about the recommendations in the report. One agreed that streamlining was necessary and supported NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group’s proposals, particularly as they had ensured that substantive services would be kept open and they would be open to all age groups. The second urged the CCG to reconsider because of the effects on the deprived areas of Birkenhead and Wallasey of taking away their local access. The third speaker also urged the CCG to rethink and noted that with a reduction in bus services people felt isolated.
The Chairman introduced the report and stressed that it was an NHS decision which fell outside of the pooled fund arrangements, so approval would be by the CCG Governing Body.
The Director of Commissioning for NHS Wirral CCG explained that the transformation of urgent care had been a priority since 2009. The overall need was to ensure that constitutional standards around Urgent Care were met, and patients received excellent quality from a sustainable service. An extensive consultation had taken place in 2018 on the initial options and, in addition to the consultation responses, 45,000 signatures had been received via a number of petitions. There had been a detailed independent analysis of the consultation feedback, together with detailed work on usage reasons and age profiles. It was emphasised that the recommendations here represented an endeavour to recognise that the CCG had listened to the findings of the feedback and these proposals would be an enhanced service, with the retention of three walk-in facilities and the extended provision of the Urgent Treatment Centre at Arrowe Park helping to reduce pressure on A&E.
The Members thanked the CCG for listening and being responsive to the opinions given in the consultation but expressed concern at transport access from deprived communities. It was acknowledged that there needed to be a joined-up approach between the NHS and the Council using the established mechanisms to ensure transport issues were addressed, recognising the commissioning roles of each organisation. Concern was also expressed in relation to the management of ‘peaks and troughs’ at Gladstone and Moreton Minor Injury/Illness Units given the proposed change to bookable urgent appointments.
The next stage would be scrutiny of the decision by the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee(s) and implementation would not commence until that process had concluded and a clear implementation plan had been developed.
The Chairman thanked the public for the responses and petitions and reassured residents that services would be monitored to understand the impact of the changes, and that the priority was commissioning high quality services. Transport issues would be explored at other meetings with Councillors and operators.
That as a result of the public consultation, all of the following be approved by the NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body:
A) Implementation of a 24-hour Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at the Arrowe Park Hospital Site
B) All-age walk in access in each community hub: ... view the full minutes text for item 17