A range of non-life threatening medical services could be delivered round the clock, 365 days a year, in Spalding under new plans for the NHS in Lincolnshire.
Blood tests, X-rays, access to mental health services and medical diagnoses are set to be expanded at Johnson Community Hospital, between Spalding and Pinchbeck, according to a “blueprint for future health and care services”.
The plans are part of a new Lincolnshire Health and Care Programme, drawn up by the county’s four Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) and three NHS Trusts which run hospitals and mental health services across the county.
At present, Johnson Community Hospital provides outpatients and blood testing services, a minor injuries unit, end-of-life and respite care.
Among the illnesses and injuries that can be treated there are ankle sprains or breaks, wrist and upper limb injuries, minor cuts, burns and scalds.
But patients with more complex needs which require treatment outside of the hospital’s available services are either referred on to their own GP or larger hospitals, including hospitals in Boston, King’s Lynn or Peterborough.
John Turner, accountable officer for South Lincolnshire CCG, said: “The Johnson Community Hospital is a fantastic asset, providing a range of high quality care to the people of Spalding.
“This emphasis on local delivery is a key part of the plan as we move towards providing more care in a range of community settings that are closer to where people live, ensuring that patients receive the right care locally.
“We acknowledge that the hospital already provides a wide range of services, but also realise there is scope to provide even more.
“That is why we at South Lincolnshire CCG are already discussing ways of increasing the range of services that are available at the hospital with Lincolnshire Community Health Services.
Johnson Community Hospital is a fantastic asset, providing a range of high quality care to the people of SpaldingJohn Turner, accountable officer for South Lincolnshire CCG,
“We will be talking to residents, patients, families and their carers in the new year about what more they would like to see offered locally.”
The future of medical services at Johnson Community Hospital is part of a Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), a five-year programme for health care in Lincolnshire due to start in 2021.
One of the plan’s more controversial proposals is to centralise maternity and children’s services in Lincoln, moving emergency surgeries involving babies born prematurely from Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Health and Care, which drafted the STP, said: “The new five-year plan describes our commitment to deliver a sustainable model of urgent and emergency care provision, with patient safety and satisfaction at its very core.
“Our plan is to create a system that provides patients with the right care, in the right place, first time.
“Urgent Care Centres will be designed to incorporate a range of core facilities traditionally affiliated with A&E (accident and emergency) departments such as access to mental health services, diagnostics, blood tests and X-Ray.
“Patients will be assessed and treated or, as is currently the case, transported by ambulance to more specialist services equipped to treat their problem in an acute hospital.
“Our Urgent Care services will support the new integrated service which will be on offer from our GPs, working with a wide range of professionals from new community-based hubs which will focus on keeping people well and healthy.
“They will also be supporting those with complex needs and dealing with everyday care for local populations.
“We believe that (Johnson Community) Hospital might be an appropriate location for urgent care services in the south-east of the county.
“However, there is more work to be done to develop our proposals before we share these details with the public.
“This will include a full consultation which will build on engagement already undertaken with patient representatives, clinicians and staff.
“Our number one priority is service improvement and patient care which means the way we deliver our services, where and how often, needs to change.”