Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans, buys and monitors most healthcare services in the area, is formally consulting the public on two options for the site of the Urgent Treatment Centre.
Both proposed options will bring together the existing urgent care services provided by the Minor Injuries Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital and the White Horse Walk-in Centre at Fleet Health Campus under one roof to create an Urgent Treatment Centre.
The first option is to create an Urgent Treatment Centre by relocating services from the White Horse Walk-in Centre to join the Minor Injuries Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital. The A&E department at Darent Valley Hospital will remain unchanged under this option.
The second option is to locate the Urgent Treatment Centre alongside the A&E department at Darent Valley Hospital by moving the existing urgent care services from Gravesham Community Hospital and the White Horse Walk-in Centre.
Both the Fleet Health Campus (White Horse site), and Gravesham Community Hospital sites will continue to provide NHS services, with the option to use the additional space to develop more health services, such as other GP services and community-based outpatient clinics. Patients will also be able to access the GP out of hours services and the home visiting services at both sites by calling NHS111.
These proposed changes are part of wider plans to offer local people more GP appointments, better community services and some outpatient appointments closer to home.
Local GP Dr Nigel Sewell, Urgent Care Clinical Lead for the CCG said: "Our urgent care services are currently delivered across different sites and treat patients with different illnesses and conditions. This can be very confusing for people who don't know where best to go if they need medical help urgently. They also don’t provide our patients with the full range of services that are available at Urgent Treatment Centres nationwide.
An Urgent Treatment Centre will simplify things for local people and help them to access the right care when they need it, under one roof, in a sensible joined-up way, helped by a new improved NHS111 helpline.
We would encourage everyone with an interest in their local health services to take part and get involved in our public consultation. Over the coming weeks, we will be out and about listening to the public's views on the proposals and we look forward to talking to you."
The public consultation runs for 12 weeks from 12 August to midnight on 4 November 2019 and there are a number of ways that the public can have their say. You can fill in a survey online or in print, attend one of the public consultation events, or invite NHS staff to come along and speak to your group or organisation.
For more information about the proposals and to download a copy of the full consultation document go to www.dartfordgraveshamswanleyccg.nhs.uk