A new partnership is set to run the Bath-based Urgent Care Centre, the unit at the RUH for patients who urgently need to see a GP or nurse but whose condition is not life-threatening.
The Urgent Care Centre offers urgent treatment around the clock to patients who cannot wait to be seen by their local GP or are not registered with a local practice.
It opened in Spring 2014 and is located next to the Emergency Department at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
The appointment of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and B&NES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS) to jointly run the service follows a rigorous procurement process that was led by the CCG.
BEMS is the local GP Federation, whose members include all General Practices in B&NES, as well as patients and staff.
BEMS has been providing care for local patients since 2004 across a range of community services, including GP out of hours. The RUH and BEMS will take over responsibility for the centre from 1st May 2018.
They will be working closely with colleagues from B&NES Doctors Urgent Care (BDUC), who currently run the Urgent Care Centre, over the next few months to ensure the smooth transfer of the service.
Dr Elizabeth Hersch, local GP and Urgent Care lead for the CCG said: “We are pleased to appoint RUH and BEMS to deliver this key service for people in B&NES.
“This appointment builds on our ambition to join up urgent care services such as the Urgent Care Centre, NHS111, the ambulance service and GP out-of-hours so patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.
An integrated approach will also help us to relieve the pressure on A&E which is intended for people with acute injuries or life-threatening illnesses.
Dr Dominic Williamson, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the RUH, said: “We’re really pleased, we have an exciting vision for the future of the service and we’re confident we can further improve the way that urgent care is delivered for our patients.
“We’ve involved patients, clinicians and management teams in our plan and drawn on extensive experience of the needs of our local population to bring together the best of primary and secondary care in the Urgent Care Centre.”
Dr Andrew Smith, Chief Executive of BEMS and a local GP, said: “I’m delighted that we have been given the opportunity to run the Urgent Care Centre. I believe that our partnership with the RUH will allow us to deliver a high quality, more integrated and patient-focussed service.
“We welcome the staff already working in the Urgent Care Centre to our partnership, and look forward to developing the service with them and the public we serve in the coming months and years.”