Urgent and emergency care in Hartlepool - one month in
13 September 2011
The changes to urgent and emergency care services in Hartlepool that took place on August 2 2011 have now been in place for one month. The changes are part of the momentum: pathways to healthcare programme which aims to take services out of hospital and provide care closer to people’s homes. They were also one of the recommendations of the independent review carried out by the North East Strategic Health Authority and the Hartlepool Overview and Scrutiny committee.
Chairman of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Paul Garvin said: “We have had many positive responses from members of the public who have used the minor injuries unit and are very happy with their treatment and the service provided.
“The services have now been in place one month and between Tuesday 2 August and Sunday 28 August, 1478 patients attended the minor injuries unit at One Life Hartlepool which is 275 more than we had anticipated.
“In the same period an average of 21 patients a day, which is fewer than expected, attended the accident and emergency department at the University Hospital of North Tees. Of these, 98% were seen within the four hour target. No outpatient clinics have been cancelled as a result of the reconfiguration.
“We are seeing more people referred into the emergency assessment unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool but fewer admitted to hospital as emergencies which means that patients urgently referred to the hospital by their GP are assessed promptly and many are able to return home very quickly following assessment and treatment at the hospital.
“It seems that patients are now seeking treatment in the most appropriate place and overall we are very pleased with the way the reconfiguration has gone. I must pay tribute to our staff who are doing an excellent job.
Steve Wallace, Chairman of NHS Hartlepool said: “It’s important to remember that the changes mean that most people can still have their urgent and emergency care needs met in Hartlepool. All of the health organisations involved are working closely together to ensure patients get their care with the right person at the right place first time.
“If you become ill and it’s not urgent call your GP or go to the walk in centre at One Life Hartlepool. After 8pm or at weekends you can call the out of hours service. Adults and children with minor injuries can go to the urgent care centre at One Life Hartlepool. If an illness or injury is serious do not stop to think about how to get the patient to hospital. Phone 999 straight away.
“All of the NHS organisations involved in the service changes are working really hard to ensure that patients have a good experience every time. In cases where people have been unhappy with the quality of care they have received we would encourage them to get in touch with us directly so that we can continue to improve our services for the future.”
Urgent and emergency care changes reported after the first week under the new arrangements
10 August 2011
NHS Hartlepool and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have reported the results of the first week under the new urgent and emergency care arrangements in Hartlepool.
Between 9am on Tuesday 2 August and 8am on Tuesday 9 August
- 380 patients have attended the minor injuries part of the urgent care centre.
- 84 patients arrived in the emergency assessment unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool after having been assessed by paramedics answering a 999 call. Previously these patients would have been taken to the accident and emergency department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and, if appropriate, transferred to the emergency assessment unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
- 17 patients and relatives used the shuttle bus which now operates on an extended timetable between the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees.
Director of operations and performance at North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust Julie Gillon said: “It is a tribute to our staff and the tremendous amount of planning we have done that the transition went smoothly.
“Our staff in the minor injuries area of the urgent care centre are seeing more patients than we had expected. One or two people from Hartlepool went to the accident and emergency department at the University Hospital of North Tees because they didn’t think the urgent care centre would have x-ray facilities. However it does offer x-ray and can cope with patients with simple fractures.
“Staff in the emergency assessment unit are taking care of patients who phone 999 themselves with emergency medical problems.
“It’s early days, but what we have seen so far is very encouraging.”
Director of commissioning and system development at NHS Hartlepool Ali Wilson added: “We’re pleased with how the first week has gone and delighted with the response from the public who clearly have adapted to the new services well and supported our staff during the transition.
“Judging by the number of patients attending the urgent care centre people do understand what to do when they need urgent care for minor injuries and illnesses and they do understand they need to phone 999 if an adult or child is seriously ill or injured./more
“We are continuing our communication for the next four weeks with campaigns on Radio Hartlepool and adverts in the local authority magazine.
Changes to urgent and emergency care in Hartlepool
Urgent and Emergency Care in Hartlepool is changing from 2 August 2011.
These changes mean that minor injury services will transfer from the accident and emergency department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool to join the walk-in centre (previously based on Victoria Road) and out of hours medical service at One Life Hartlepool to form a comprehensive urgent care centre for patients.
Patients needing emergency medical care who dial 999 themselves will be assessed by the ambulance service and will be taken to the appropriate place which, in most cases, will be the emergency assessment unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Throughout the lead up to the changes leaflets have been sent to every household in Hartlepool and Easington as well as to community centres and GP practices.
Meanwhile changes are being made at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees to accommodate the changes that departments expect to see after 2 August.
At the University Hospital of North Tees four extra bays have been created in the accident and emergency unit and treatment rooms have been reorganised sot that all patients attending the unit can be seen by the appropriately skilled professional quickly.
At the University Hospital of Hartlepool:
- the coronary care unit has been merged with the emergency assessment unit. This means any patient with chest pain, whether or not it is heart related, will have a team of staff looking after them to ensure that they have they need as quickly as possible.
- the 18 beds in the emergency assessment unit will increase to 20 and an ambulatory care unit with space for four patients where they can be looked after by a team of nurse specialists will be increased to seven. This will be able to take up to 11 patients if necessary.
- One nurse is being transferred from the critical care unit to the critical care unit at the University Hospital of North Tees. The critical care unit acts as one unit across two sites with the flexibility for staff to move between sites when necessary.
Lead director for the momentum programme Carole Langrick said: "We're doing things across our two hospitals to ensure we've got the right staff and the right services in the right place.
"However the most important thing after 2 August is that people know where to go to get the urgent and emergency care they need.
"The main thing is that if people think someone is so ill or injured they need to be seen by a team of specialists they should phone 999 straightaway.
"These days assessment, stabilisation and treatment begins in the ambulance so essentially patients are being treated the minute the ambulance arrives. It is far better and safer to do this rather than put someone in a car where they will quite clearly not be getting assessed or starting treatment and possibly even risk taking them to the wrong place."Director of commissioning and system development at NHS Hartlepool Ali Wilson added: “Staff at the urgent care centre at One Life Hartlepool are specially trained to look after people with minor ailments and injuries. Having these services under one roof in the town centre will make things far easier for people who need this type of care.”
|Print 4 page leaflet||Print leaflet (residents of Easington & Peterlee)|
Press Release - 29 July 2011 - Shuttle Bus Timetable Announced
to print a copy of the timetable, click here
With our partners NHS Hartlepool we have been to a number of patient representation and community groups to explain the urgent and emergency care changes being put into place on 2 August.
One of the issues most frequently raised is transport. The following statement was issued to the media this week and we include it here for your information.
Director of operations at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation trust Kevin Oxley said: "We know from the feedback we're receiving that people are concerned about transport.
"Because of this we looked at how people got to accident and emergency at the University Hospital of Hartlepool last year and found:
• 70% travelled by car
• 17% travelled by ambulance
• 6% travelled by taxi
• 1.3% travelled by public transport (505 people)
• 5.5% travelled by other means
"It's likely that travelling by public transport are people who have a minor injury or ailment and we think half of these people will have a shorter distance to travel once the services are transferred to One Life Hartlepool.
"Since the changes to services in 2007 we have been running a shuttle bus to enable staff to travel between sites.
“We want to help patients, their relatives and visitors so we’re extending the shuttle bus* to seven days a week running from 6am to 10pm between the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees. We will make this free service available for:
- patients attending appointments,
- patients travelling for urgent care,
- patients who are discharged from the accident and emergency unit at the University Hospital of North Tees after treatment,
- people who need to get back to Hartlepool after they have come to hospital in an ambulance with a relative who has been admitted, and visitors.
"In practice we would not leave patients stranded. Of course we always encourage patients or visitors to see if someone can collect them or they can get home themselves because money spent on transport is money that can’t be spent on direct patient care.
"People on benefits can claim transport costs and staff will help people to do this. However we understand it is very difficult for some people and, in those cases, we will arrange transport. This is likely to be late at night or at weekends when other transport is limited."
*This bus will be available for health-related journeys only and is not insured for any other purpose.