Unit sees more than 3,500 patients in first six months - but is closing its doors early at weekends

Health
Health

An urgent care unit in Sleaford, which has treated more than 3,500 patients, is set to close at an earlier time at weekends from Saturday due to ‘low patient numbers’.

A six-month pilot of Sleaford Medical Group’s urgent care unit saw the low numbers after 6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays, and following a review has decided to close at that time instead.

A spokesman for the unit said that during the first six months the unit treated more than 3,500 patients.

They said this has meant less people have attended local accident and emergency departments and the out-of-hours service.

The unit’s clinical lead Dr Gaspar DaSilva said: “With ever-increasing pressure in A&E, we are encouraging patients to make use of the extended hours offered by the unit in Sleaford.

“During our first six months of operating the unit we have seen an huge increase in the number of patients that we have treated.

“We have taken the decision to reduce the hours at the weekend as this was seen to be the time when fewer patients were accessing the services offered.”

He added: “We continue to be committed to ensuring patients receive the highest quality care locally, first time. We would also like to thank everyone who has used the services for all of their positive comments and feedback.”

The urgent care unit is available to all patients, including those not registered with a GP.

The unit can care for patients attending with minor injuries at any time but minor illnesses will only be seen outside of normal GP hours. The patient’s own GP will receive a summary of care received following the consultation.

However, the unit cannot provide care for serious injuries, major accidents, severe chest pains, serious breathing problems, severe pain of any description, road traffic accidents, anaphylactic reactions or collapse.

The unit, will continue to operate at the usual times during the week (8am to 8pm) and continues to be run by a team of experienced GPs and nurses.