AN EXTENSIVE revamp of urgent care in Worcestershire has won approval from patients and residents across the county.
The results of a public consultation into the Worcestershire Urgent Care Strategy have been presented, showing 82 per cent feel the way patients are cared for in the county needs to be changed.
In total 5,027 people took part in the nine-week consultation into the plans, which were developed by a collaboration of NHS organisations across Worcestershire and aim to reduce the strain on A&E departments in the county by increasing the amount of services which are open seven days a week and improving community care services, among others.
Although 74 per cent of respondents said they approved the controversial idea to stop the walk-in element of the Worcester Walk-In Health Centre in Farrier Street, 1,048 signed a petition against the plan launched by Labour’s parliamentary candidate Cllr Joy Squires.
Although only 0.8 per cent of the entire population of Worcestershire responded to the consultation, a spokesman from South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said the level of feedback was high compared the similar exercises.
“Awareness was raised through regular coverage in the Worcester News and other local media outlets and through some active debate on websites such as relevant Facebook pages,” he said.
“Worcester City Council was also active in supporting the awareness raising through their council motion and scrutiny exercise.
“All of this activity adds to the general reach of these types of activity and we are grateful for the support of partners in this respect.”
Although the consultation was originally due to last six weeks, it was extended by three after concerns were raised residents had not been given enough time to properly scrutinise the plans.
Chief clinical officer of South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Carl Ellson said changes needed to be made to care services in the county to ensure they are effective as possible in the face of plummeting budgets and increased demand.
“To ensure that local urgent care services are as effective as possible, some changes need to be made to how they are currently provided.
We aim to simplify and improve urgent and emergency care services so that they are used in the best way by everyone, meaning people are seen by the right healthcare professional, in the right place, at the right time.”
“We are very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to tell us what they think of our plans.
“Overall, the feedback has been very positive.
“We are now considering what people have said in detail and will incorporate this into our final proposals.”
The results of the consultation are now being reviewed before health bosses vote on formally adopting the strategy in July.