An Urgent Treatment Centre would treat minor illness and injuries for all ages in one place and would improve the emergency and urgent care that patients receive. It would also make it easier for people to understand where they should go when they need medical help urgently and what services are available to them in their community.
Plans for an Urgent Treatment Centre are being developed by NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans, buys and monitors most healthcare services in the area. They are asking for people’s views through a survey which is now widely available at community locations and online.
Bringing services together under one roof
Local GP Dr Sarah MacDermott, Chair of the CCG, said: “We have been reviewing services for the past three years and we want to bring our urgent care services such as our Minor Injuries Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital and GP Walk in Centre at Fleet Health Campus in Northfleet together. This will simplify things for local people helping them to access the right care when they need it, under one roof and will mean we can help take pressure off the local Emergency Department. We would like to get people’s feedback on our plans and would encourage everyone to fill in our survey.”
An Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) in the area is required by NHS England. Last year, the CCG considered creating the UTC at Gravesham Community Hospital, by relocating the Walk in Centre alongside the Minor Injuries Unit.
However, a new possibility has opened up of locating the UTC at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.
Rosemary Bolton, the CCG’s Governing Body Lay Member for Public Engagement said: “Local people have already told us that they think locating the Walk in Centre at Gravesham Community Hospital is a good idea, but we now have a new opportunity to consider locating it at Darent Valley Hospital, along with relocation of the Minor Injuries Unit services currently provided at Gravesham Community Hospital. We want to know more about what local people think about these two possibilities.
“It is likely that we will launch a formal public consultation in the spring or summer to present our options, but local people can really influence our choice of options by telling us what they think at this early stage.’
It is likely that the existing Walk in Centre at the White Horse GP Surgery in Vale Road, Northfleet, would need to relocate. This is because there are separate proposals to redesign Fleet Healthcare Campus to increase and improve the primary care services provided there over time.
Survey available online and in print
Local people in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley and the surrounding rural areas are urged to complete the survey online or fill in a printed version available at local hospitals and GP surgeries and other venues.
Alternatively, you can request a printed copy by contacting the CCG at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 03000 424903.