NHS Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Governing Body has given the go ahead to create two linked Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs), one at Gravesham Community Hospital and one co-located with A&E at Darent Valley Hospital, as part of a networked urgent care services model.
The CCG received over 16,500 responses to its public consultation carried out between August and November 2019. Key concerns raised by local people, regardless of the site option they preferred, were traffic and congestion to Darent Valley Hospital, public transport, parking and how far they might have to travel to get the urgent care they need.
Both UTCs will treat minor illnesses and minor injuries with the Urgent Treatment Centre at Darent Valley Hospital providing additional critical care by virtue of its co-location with the A&E department.
The walk-in services at the Whitehorse surgery will be relocated to Gravesham Community Hospital but the GP and other current services at Northfleet will remain on site and unchanged.
It is expected that the two linked Urgent Treatment Centres will be in place by summer 2020 as part of the first phase towards fully networked sites providing “joined up”, urgent care services for the people of Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.
Dr Nigel Sewell, local GP and the CCG’s Clinical Lead for Urgent Care said: “The Governing Body’s decision is good news for local people and it is our ambition to implement the new Urgent Treatment Centres as quickly as possible. The public consultation process gave us greater understanding of the key issues affecting local people and we have adjusted our arrangements for the new Urgent Treatment Centres to address the well placed concerns that people raised.
We look forward to working closely with our partners over the coming weeks to make sure there is a smooth transition of services from the Walk-in Centre and Minor Injuries Unit to the new Urgent Treatment Centres”.
The decision making business case which sets out the case for the networked urgent care services model and the analysis of the feedback received from the public consultation are available on the CCG’s website at www.dartfordgraveshamswanleyccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/urgent-care-post-consultation/