Lincolnshire health bosses identify five urgent treatment centre sites for county

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Health bosses have identified five sites across Lincolnshire to roll out new urgent treatment centres in a bid to relieve pressure on the county’s A&E departments.

The Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership has recommended hospital sites to provide the new service.

It comes as part of an NHS England plan to reduce attendances at emergency departments by launching 150 urgent treatment centres by December 2019.

The services will diagnose and treat the most common illnesses and injuries that patients go to accident and emergency for.

Officials said the idea is that the centre will relieve pressure on A&E so the department is free to deal with more serious cases.

The service will combine minor injuries units, walk-in centres and urgent care centres and be based in front of A&E departments.

Patients will be encouraged to call the non-emergency number 111 in order to be seen but a streaming service will be available at the front door.

Five sites have been identified across the region:

Louth Hospital

Boston Pilgrim Hospital

Lincoln County Hospital

Stamford Hospital

Skegness Hospital

In a report, urgent care programme director, Ruth Cumbers, said the health service expects to see reduced attendances at A&E because of the changes.

She said: “We expect reduced attendance at, and conveyance to, A&E as a result of this standardisation and simplified access, as well as improved patient convenience as patients will no longer feel the need to travel and queue at A&E.

“Attendances at urgent treatment centres will count towards the four hour access and waiting times standard.”

Both Lincoln County Hospital and Boston Pilgrim are expected to be launched in December next year, but further funding is needed to expand floor space.

The centres will act as a filter for the emergency departments which launched a streaming service in late 2017.

Meanwhile, the Louth Hospital site has been used as an urgent treatment centre pilot site since March.

No decision has been made on services at Grantham Hospital as health bosses said the future of the site falls under the acute services review.

A report on the progress of the county’s urgent treatment centres will go before the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire this week.