Sunday, 13 January 2013

Urgent care consultation planned

A TWELVE-WEEK consultation will be held on plans which could see changes to urgent care services at Solihull Hospital.

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The consultation will take place between April and July and any changes will be put in place for July.

Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group – which funds NHS services – is reviewing urgent care with other commissioning groups in Birmingham.

This has led to fears that the walk-in centre could close.

In a report to councillors it says there is “unnecessary duplication” between Solihull Hospital services - A&E; out of hours, the walk-in centre and medical assessment unit.

Their report said: “This often results in confusion for people trying to decide where best they should go when they are in a crisis.

“Children under the age of 16 and people over 65 cannot get some emergency care at the site and may have to go elsewhere if they’re in crisis.

“Figures show 65 per cent of our residents needing urgent and emergency care get this from elsewhere suggesting improvements can and should be made to cater for the needs of more of our residents.”

It adds: “We think there is the opportunity to improve the service on the Solihull Hospital site.” It pledged to “increase the range of services” in the town.

Changes will cut down on patients having to be referred to other hospitals, it adds and said there would be an “open and transparent consultation”.

A petition opposed to a closure of the walk-in centre said: “This centre provides a vital facility for our community as well as relieving pressure on the hospital's A&E department and the ambulance service.” It so far has 292 signatures.

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