The urgent treatment centre welcomed its first patients at the city hospital this morning, after being re-located from the City Care Centre in Thorpe Road.
The move has been hailed by the hospital’s chief medical officer who believes it will mean people being seen quicker and by the right person first time around, improving both patient flow and waiting times.
Dr Kanchan Rege from the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust told the Peterborough Telegraph: “It should make things a lot easier. At the moment there is the Minor Illness and Injury Unit in the Peterborough City Care Centre and the Accident and Emergency service at Peterborough City Hospital so there are two places to go.
“What we’re trying to do is encourage everyone to ring 111 - unless it’s a serious emergency - so they can then be signposted to the right place and be treated appropriately.
“Patients in Peterborough coming to Peterborough City Hospital are experiencing long waits for care.
“This will be a lot more streamlined and will mean those in need of serious medical attention can have it more promptly than be in a massive queue.”
The modular building has been dropped into a courtyard at the hospital site in Bretton, with patients able to attend a single triage point at the Emergency Department where they will directed either towards A&E, the urgent treatment centre, or another service (e.g. pharmacy or GP appointment).
However, it is hoped that patients will ring 111 (which is available 24/7) so they can be signposted to the correct service first time around, and be given an appointment time.
“There’s a huge demand for healthcare at the moment. There is pent up demand with people accessing care either through GPs or emergency services,” Dr Rege added.
“It is safe to come to hospital - we’re still observing all Covid protocols and all infection controls are up to date. Patient safety is at the forefront of our minds and you will get the care you need.”
The re-location from Thorpe Road has cost a fraction under £4 million, but as well as a brand new building dropped in by cranes, it has delivered a new paediatric assessment unit and surgical assessment unit and discharge lounge which it is hoped will improve flow through the hospital as demand for emergency care rises above pre-pandemic levels.
The urgent treatment centre - which is open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week - will treat minor illnesses and injuries.
It includes emergency nurse and advanced care practitioners and GPs, while the out of hours GPs service will run from 6pm to 8am, Monday to Friday, and 24 hours a day over weekends and bank holidays.
Among those on site for the first morning were clinical educator Laura Hair and emergency nurse practitioner Alison Turner.
Alison said: “We’re super excited about this new purpose built building. You can see the right person, at the right place, at the right time.”
Laura added: “We are asking patients to either use the central hub or call 111 so they can be directed to the appropriate place.”