60 people a day turned away from Peterborough walk-in centre for seeking ‘non-urgent’ care

Around 60 people a day have been turned away from Peterborough’s walk-in centre after seeking support for ‘non-urgent’ care.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 1:05 pm
The new UTC

The new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) opened at Peterborough City Hospital last Thursday after being re-located from the City Care Centre in Thorpe Road, with patients attending for help with minor injuries and illnesses that cannot be treated at home or by their local pharmacist or GP.

However, UTC staff have “reported a growing trend of patients seeking help for health problems that are not appropriate for urgent care services – in particular injuries that they have had for more than a week, migraines and blocked ears that require syringing,” according to the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.

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This rose to around 60 people per day at the weekend, with patients “not given any medical assistance, but instead advised where they would be able to receive appropriate treatment”.

Phil Walmsley, trust chief operating officer, said: “It’s really encouraging that our local communities are aware that the UTC has moved to a new location, but we need to emphasise at this early stage that we are here for urgent and emergency cases only.

“Routine problems are best managed by your GP or pharmacist. It’s vital that we can focus our resources on those patients who really need medical help urgently so we are asking patients to check out their symptoms via 111 online first so they can be guided in the right direction for their care.

“I’d like to thank our teams who have worked very hard in the past week to settle in to a new location and deliver new pathways for patient care. They have been doing a great job. Thank you, too, to the patients who are bearing with us as we adjust to a new environment.”

Patients are being encouraged to contact NHS 111 if they are feeling unwell and cannot self-treat at home, see their GP or use their local pharmacist.

If they are advised to visit the UTC, it will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Co-located with the UTC is the GP Out Of Hours service.

The UTC treats:

. Strains, sprains, cuts and grazes

. Arm, foot and leg injuries

. Bites, minor burns and scalds

. Suspected fractures and broken bones

. Minor head injuries

. Eye problems – such as scratches and foreign bodies in the eye.