Community urgent care consultation

30 May 2018

Help us to change and improve local community urgent care services 

What do you think about our proposals for changes to local GP hubs, walk-in services, and GP Out of Hours services? 

Community urgent care services provide same-day care and advice for people with urgent, but not life threatening, physical and mental health issues. These include our GP out of hours service (GPOOH), our seven GP access hubs and four local walk-in services. 

Local people tell us they find community urgent care services confusing. They aren’t sure where to go for when they need urgent advice or care, and this often means they just go to A&E and wait when they could be seen elsewhere. 

We want to make it easier to get advice quickly or get an urgent close to home when you need to be seen, so you don’t have to wait around for hours. 

We also need to plan for the expected population growth and meet new national standards. This includes introducing Urgent Treatment Centres which means we upgrade facilities at some locations with better testing services than at your own GP. We have to make sure, as always, that we spend NHS money wisely.

The consultation is not proposing any changes to emergency care services or changes to the A&E services at any of our local hospitals. 

What changes are we proposing?

  • We want to make NHS 111 the number to call if you need urgent health advice or care. (You should still call 999 for emergencies).
  • We want to make more same-day urgent appointments available in a wide choice of community locations if your own GP can’t see you– but with fewer places where you walk in and wait. These would offer a standardised service so patients know what to expect.
  • We have two options for changes to where you can walk in and wait without an appointment, which we would like local feedback on:

 Option 1 

Patients can walk in or book urgent appointments at four Urgent Treatment Centres, at King George Hospital, Queen’s Hospital, Harold Wood Polyclinic and Barking Community Hospital. Bookable appointments available at eight community urgent care service locations, and no walk-in service at Loxford Polyclinic or South Hornchurch Health Centre.

Option 2

Patients can walk in or book urgent appointments at two Urgent Treatment Centres, - King George Hospital and Queen’s Hospital. Bookable appointments available at ten community urgent care service locations, and no walk-in service at Harold Wood Polyclinic, Barking Community Hospital, Loxford Polyclinic or South Hornchurch Health Centre.

Both options will help to make it easier for people to choose the right service when they have an urgent health need.

No decision has been made. We want to know what people think, and will use your feedback as part of the decision-making process.

How to have your say 

The CCG has published a document Right care, right place, first time that sets out the two options for proposed changes, and a questionnaire for people to have their say. The questionnaire is also available in an easy read version.  All responses must be received by 5pm on 21 August 2018. 

Throughout the consultation period, we plan to host events to talk to as many people about these proposals. Come and talk to us at the following events detailed here