Agenda item

Urgent Care Transformation - Progress Update


Dr Paula Cowan, Chair Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) introduced the report of the Director of Commissioning Wirral CCG that provided an update on the arrangements in place for the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan that aims to ensure patients get the care they need fast and to relieve pressure on Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E). The report informed that analysis of data showed that half of the patients that attend A&E could have been treated in a more appropriate setting to deliver the same outcome, e.g. community health venues, pharmacies etc. The additional pressures meant that those patients, who were very poorly and in need of emergency interventions, might not be seen as timely as they could be.


The report outlined the current position of the urgent care transformation work with regards to the Interim Urgent Treatment Centre on the Arrowe Park Hospital Site in addition to the community urgent care offer. This included:


Interim Urgent Treatment Centre


  • Implementation of an Interim Urgent Treatment Centre (IUTC) on the Arrowe Park Hospital site, operational from the 19th December, 2019


Hospital Re-development Programme


  • Capital funding secured to assist in the re-development of the Arrowe Park Hospital site, including the urgent care footprint with the development of the Emergency Department and the IUTC, creating a single front door to access urgent and emergency care.


  • This programme is scheduled to commence in spring 2020 with a 3 year programme of works which will see the UTC opening in 2023 (subject to programme change). 


Primary Care Hub Model


  • The introduction of Primary Care Hubs across Wirral will enable all age walk in access as well planned GP and Nurse Appointments. The hubs will be located in the following locations: Birkenhead Medical Centre, Victoria Central Hospital and Eastham Clinic.


Dr Cowan informed that whilst the main UTC would not be completed until 2023, it was recognised that there remained a need to provide the highest quality, safest and most effective urgent care for the people of Wirral. She added that by taking a phased approach to full implementation allowed the CCG to test out new ways of working and fully embed new clinical pathways and working processes, prior to the main UTC. Point of Care Testing would soon be live in the interim UTC, meaning that patients could be seen at the UTC instead of potentially having to attend A&E for low level tests. The interim UTC also allowed an increase in the number of patients streamed from A&E, freeing clinicians up to treat those most in need of emergency care and treatment.


Dr Cowan further informed that the new model of care included replacement of the existing Minor Injuries/Illness services at Gladstone (formerly Parkfield) and Moreton Minor Injuries and Illness Units (MIU). The provision of GP extended access appointments and a specific dressing and wound care clinic (for the Moreton area) will mean that patients can still access same day urgent care locally to them. Patients will be able to book a same day appointment with a GP or Nurse either in the existing practice, or in a practice local to them. She added that there would be no change to either of the existing GP surgeries at Gladstone or Moreton. Patients who were registered to one of these GP practices will be able to continue to use them as the currently do. Activity data from both sites had been reviewed and the CCG was confident that the level of GP extended access appointments, access to pharmacy, and dressing/wound care clinic for the Moreton area would meet the needs of the local population.


A short question and answer session followed that included issues relating to strategic planning by the CCG relating to new housing proposals and expected growth of population in addition to re-iteration of more specific areas of concern highlighted during the earlier consultation process with regard to access to services and public transportation.


The Chair moved that it would be appropriate that a letter be sent to the Liverpool City Region Mayor requesting that additional funding be made available for the re-instatement of public transport provision on Wirral, given the impact on residents ability to access healthcare provision as a result of the reduction in services. She added that the letter be jointly signed by Wirral CCG and the Committee’s Party Spokespersons.


On a combined motion by Councillor Phil Gilchrist and the Chair, duly seconded, it was –


Resolved (unanimously) That the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee


1)  welcomes the progress report and details on the extent of the preparations; 


2)  appreciates attention being given to planning services and requests additional information on the geographical distribution and take up of additional GP appointments;


3)  still remains very concerned about the lack of public transport to existing and proposed services;


4)  urges close cooperation between all bodies in the future planning associated with the local plan and expected population growth; and


5)  the Chair of the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Chair Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) jointly write to the Liverpool City Region Mayor (co-signed by the Party Spokespersons) requesting that additional funding be made available for the re-instatement of public transport provision on Wirral.


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