What we are doing
The local NHS is looking at how urgent care services could be delivered in the future particularly during the overnight period. The current service at Peterlee is not well utilised during 12:00am midnight to 8:00am so the NHS is thinking about how it can be delivered in a different way to best meet the needs of the local population.
What are Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC)?
Urgent Treatment Centres are equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments that the local population currently attend A&E for. The aim of the UTC is to ease the pressure on our hospitals, allowing them to focus on patients who are seriously ill.
UTCs are GP-led, open at least 12 hours a day, 365 days a year and offer appointments that can be booked through NHS 111 or by a GP.
In County Durham there are four UTCs which are currently based at Peterlee, Bishop Auckland, Shotley Bridge and University Hospital of North Durham. The local NHS is focusing on Peterlee UTC.
We want to hear from the public and will be carrying out engagement between Monday 3rd June 2019 and Monday 1st July 2019. We will be speaking to the public across the East Durham area and these dates will be issued via social media and on our website.
Looking at the activity for this site there is steady usage across all ages so we have planned engagement in areas we think we will capture a wider range of people.
Why are we doing this?
Currently, Peterlee UTC operates 24 hours per day, is GP-led, and offers appointments that can be booked through NHS 111 or through a GP referral, with patients attending the site for their appointment.
As the 12:00am midnight – 8:00am period is not well used by the local population. The CCG recommends this is replaced by a home visiting model, sending clinicians to care for patients at home out of hours rather than bringing them in to a centre, in addition, offering telephone advice where appropriate.
Mobile Urgent Care clinicians are equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments people attend A&E for just. the same as if people were to attend the UTC.
We need to ensure services are accessible across the county, using our staff and resources in the best possible way. We think that we have a real opportunity to use the information we have to develop services according to patient need.
What this tells us
Midnight to 8:00am on weekdays
From 12:00am midnight to 8:00am during the week, an average of five patients attend Peterlee base with 0.2 patients requiring a home visit. This means 0.6 patients are utilising the service per hour.
Midnight to 8:00am on weekends and bank holidays
From 12:00am midnight to 8:00am at weekends and bank holidays an average of eight patients at Peterlee attend the base with 0.4 patients requiring a home visit. This means one patient is utilising the service per hour.
This is based on averages but illustrates the underutilisation of the resources in place.
The home visiting proposal was preferred by clinicians as it provides a flexible service that covers the County as a system, preventing duplication across the geography during the quietest periods and will ensure better utilisation of practitioner and GP time. These services would be expected to cross cover and work together as one to best meet patient need across the four UTCs.
How the service could look
There is potential to bring services to people in their own home using our highly skilled workforce, more so during the 12am – 8am period. We also know that transport can be an issue for people accessing services so we are looking at how we can ensure where people do need to be seen in a healthcare facility that they have the appropriate access to patient transport as and when required.
We want to hear from you!
What do you think about these potential changes?
What would be important to you if the 12:00am – 8:00am home visiting service was offered?
What communications would we need to do to reach the public and how?
Would you or your child prefer be seen in your own home if you are poorly at 2am?
If you had access to a health care professional via the telephone to discuss your symptoms and provide advice, do you feel this would be beneficial?
We would really like to hear your views on our proposals via our survey or you can give us your feedback through an online survey:
Alternatively, if you would like a paper copy sent in the post, please contact:
Tina Balbach, Engagement Lead for NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield on 0191 371 3245 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org