PATIENTS at Royal Blackburn Hospital have been supporting a campaign to keep the Urgent Care Centre free for people who need immediate medical attention.

Under the scheme, people who visit the centre with minor illnesses are assessed by a senior nurse and redirected to a more appropriate health professional, such as their GP.

It was introduced in January after research showed up to a third of patients who visit urgent care do not need to, and could get treatment quicker and more conveniently elsewhere.

Patients to have been redirected include those attending suffering with hangovers, vomiting, diarrhoea, looking for a second opinion and requesting test results.

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust Emergency Department consultant Dr Charles Thomson said: “This is not what the Urgent Care Centre is here for. It is for people with illnesses or injuries that need immediate hospital assessment and it is our job to make sure this service is available for those who need it.”