Critically-ill patients arriving at an urgent care centre – but requiring emergency treatment – will be stabilised and transferred to a hospital with an A&E department.
Staff at an urgent care unit, planned for Huddersfield, will be trained to stabilise and transfer a patient requiring specialist care, according to a document setting out a hospital shake-up plan in the greatest detail so far.
Have Your Say, released in anticipation of the Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) plan, also details what treatment patients can expect at the urgent care units planned for both Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) and Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), Halifax.
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Under the plan, full emergency services at HRI will close to be replaced by an expanded emergency unit at CRH.
The document says: “For this arrangement to work as well as possible we would need to... ensure if people do make their own way to the urgent care centre with problems that need specialist care, the staff in the urgent care centre have the necessary skills to make sure they are stabilised and then transferred.”
The 24/7 unit will treat sprains and strains, broken limb bones, infections that may need treatment, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites and minor eye injuries.
The unit, staffed by doctors and emergency nurses, will treat conditions normally dealt with by a GP – but outside surgery hours.
Equipment available in the centres will include a full resuscitation trolley, oxygen, suction and emergency drugs.
According to a five year plan produced by Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust, which manages the two hospitals, such patients make up 54% of attendances at their current A&E departments.
Local NHS bosses say by splitting A&E into emergency and urgent care, patients with comparatively minor injuries or illness will be seen more quickly.
The document says: “While from a medical point of view these are classed as minor, patients rightly wish to be seen and treated as quickly as possible.”
It adds: “These would be the front door to urgent and emergency care for people who make their own way to hospital, for example, like they do now when they go to A&E.”