My view, Dr Nick Tupper: Revamp for short notice health care

Flying Scotsman Health Centre, Doncaster.
Flying Scotsman Health Centre, Doncaster.

This week there will be a new look to some of the local NHS services that Doncaster people need at short notice when they are ill or injured.

We’re making the changes to help cut waiting times at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and also at the borough-wide 8am to 8pm health service, which is currently based at the Flying Scotsman Centre, but getting ready to move.

On Thursday it will transfer to Cavendish Court, South Parade, opposite the Salutation pub, where it will be renamed Doncaster Same Day Health Centre.

It will continue to open 8am to 8pm every day, treating illnesses such as sore throats and earache as well as minor injuries like sprained or strained joints, cuts, bumps and lumps. It will be staffed with health professionals, including GPs and nurses.

It will be available to all Doncaster patients but anyone wanting to attend must pre-book their appointment by ringing 0300 1233103 first. This will cost the same as a local call and, importantly, appointments will be offered within 24 hours.

I know some people are wondering why the move is necessary, so let me explain.

Currently there is a GP practice and the 8am to 8pm service based together at the Flying Scotsman Centre. They share the same clinical facilities and that has put a strain on the limited resources within the building.

When the GP practice opened at the centre in 2011 it was originally planned to provide care for 6,400 registered patients. It now has around 10,000. The impact has been patients wanting to use the 8am to 8pm centre have gradually had to wait longer to get an appointment, and this is something we needed to improve.

By splitting the 8am to 8pm service away from the GP practice and moving it to bigger premises at Cavendish Court, patients will be able to get same day appointments.

The GP practice based at the Flying Scotsman will remain where it is, continuing with the same opening hours.

Across at the A&E Department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI), patients may also see a change following the launch of a new Urgent Care Centre on the site. As they arrive they will be assessed by a clinician and treated according to need.

Those with serious conditions will be taken to the Emergency Department, which will be staffed with A&E consultants and nurses.

Patients with less urgent needs, such as cuts, bruises and sprains will walk into a new Urgent Care Centre on the DRI site, which will be run by a range of healthcare professionals, including GPs.

The new Urgent Care Centre will also manage Doncaster’s GP out-of-ours service – which operates when local surgeries are closed – and will be open around the clock, every day.

* related article: Phttp://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/health/doncaster-s-flying-scotsman-health-centre-to-be-relocated-1-7484946|Doncaster’s flying Scotman Health Centre to be relocated|click here}