We have recently engaged with patients and other healthcare providers to understand how urgent care services are used. At the end of June the NEE CCG Board approved the development of a new Minor Injury Service (Approach 3) which will replace the current services provided at the Walk in Centre in Colchester and the Minor Injury Units in Clacton and Harwich when their contracts end in Autumn 2018.
Further information on the review is available below, including a video which has been produced to give an insight into some issues faced by users and providers of our current urgent care system and how the development of a Minor Injury Service will help address these issues.
What is approach 3?
We will commission a minor injury service across north east Essex. The current walk in centre and Minor injury unit contracts will end however the new service would look to expand and enhance what minor injuries can be treated in the community currently, aiming to reduce the need for you to attend A&E. While the service will have a presence in Colchester, Clacton and Harwich, we are focusing on it being a service, not a building, in that over the course of the new contract we would like to work closer with GP Practices to deliver the services more locally across north east Essex. This approach would aim, in parallel, to provide greater support for people to self-treat minor illness and self-manage their long term health conditions. However, for other minor illness that required clinical input; patients would access their GP Practice, or Out of Hours GP service.
What will be the benefits of a minor injury service?
What if I have a Minor Illness?
We recognise there is much more we can do to support patients to self-care. To help this, we are working with our colleagues across all system partners, the local council and voluntary services to develop a plan which will ensure that no matter what service you access, you receive information, help and support to self-manage your long term condition and self-treat your minor illness and injuries wherever possible.
We want greater use of pharmacists and are currently looking at offering training to local pharmacies to ensure they have the support to confidently advise and treat many of your minor ailments.
If you need more support, you should access your GP or Out of Hours GP service (via 111). We are working with GP Practices locally to improve access through extended hours into evenings and weekends and the use of care navigators so that if you need an appointment, one will be available to you.
What if I still don’t know where to go?
We are also commissioning an Integrated Urgent Care Service (integrating 111 and GP out of hours) which will have a greater number of clinicians with a wider skills and knowledge base available for patients who would like advice of how to look after themselves, or which local service would best meet their need, day or night.
When will the new service commence?
It was originally reported that the contract would commence on the 1st July, but as we look further into how develop the new model, we now envisage this happening in early Autumn of 2018 at the earliest. The new minor injury service will continue to evolve as we work together in partnership with our patients and stakeholders. Patients will continue to be able to access the current minor injury units and walk-in centre until the new service commences.