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Will Spalding and South Holland be double losers on NHS injury and urgent care?

Spalding looks set to lose its minor injuries unit and miss out when urgent treatment centres (UTCs) are established at county hospitals.

Plans revealed to Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee talk about Spalding's minor injuries unit being re-designated as a GP Extended Access Hub with bookable appointments via 111.

The same report says UTCs are to be established at hospitals in Boston, Lincoln, Louth, and Skegness - plus Stamford, although that will be developed by an out of county health body.

The entrance to the minor injuries unit at Johnson Community Hospital.
The entrance to the minor injuries unit at Johnson Community Hospital.

The Health Scrutiny Committee is asking health chiefs to think again so county residents have equal access to UTCs and there's a more even geographic spread.

Coun Chris Brewis, Health Scrutiny's vice-chairman, said: "I protested vigorously on behalf not only of ourselves in the south east corner, but for West Lindsey, the Sleaford area and Grantham, none of which was mentioned or included."

He said councillors asked for a revised report to be presented in January.

Spalding Today asked Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership - which works with the county's seven NHS organisations - about the differences in services between a minor injuries unit and a GP Extended Access Hub, and were told the final clinical models of care are yet to be decided.

Ruth Cumbers, urgent care programme director for Lincolnshire, said: "Our vision within these proposals is to enhance current service provision.

"In Spalding, current demand indicates a GP Extended Access Hub will meet the needs of the local population.

"The introduction of new Urgent Treatment Centres in the county, along with GP Extended Access Hubs, will standardise the confusing range of options and simplify the services to meet patient need.

"We believe these proposals are the right thing to do for the people of Lincolnshire."

* UTCs will open at least 12 hours a day and be staffed by GPs, nurses and other clinicians with access to simple diagnostics such as testing urine samples, ECG (heart monitoring) and, in some cases, X-ray.


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