Patients are invited to have their say on future urgent care services at St Albans City Hospital as part of a public engagement by Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that runs until Sunday 1 August.
The engagement will inform a decision by the CCG about what type of urgent care service to provide at St Albans City Hospital once services can reopen next year. The minor injuries unit remains closed due to the ongoing pandemic response and the need to avoid people walking into the hospital so that it stays ‘COVID-19 free’ so that planned surgery can safely take place there.
While the engagement will ask people for their views on four possible options, the CCG is reassuring patients by stating from the outset that it is not seeking to cut urgent care services at St Albans.
Options being tested through the engagement are:
1. Not reopen an urgent care service at St Albans City Hospital and ask patients to continue to use other nearby services
2. Reopen the minor injury unit as a ‘walk-in’ service that is led and delivered by experienced and specially trained nurses. This would not cater for minor illnesses.
3. Open a new integrated urgent care service that would help with minor illnesses and injuries. It would be led and delivered by senior experienced nurses with input from GPs. Appointments would be booked through the NHS111 service or GPs. There would be no walk-in patients.
4. Open a new urgent treatment centre that would provide a comprehensive urgent illness and injury service with a broader range of diagnostic services. It would be led and delivered by GPs and would offer a combination of booked and walk-in appointments.
The CCG’s preferred option is Option 3 – a new integrated care service – because it would provide the flexibility to design an enhanced minor injury and illness service that can meet patients’ needs without overstretching resources.
To find out more and to take part in the survey go to the Get Involved section of the Herts Valleys CCG website.