Campaigners call for more people to use Burnley's urgent care centre

Lancashire Telegraph: ELHT medical director Rineke Schram ELHT medical director Rineke Schram

CAMPAIGNERS have called for local urgent care centres to be used more after new research claimed that patient deaths increase by 20 per cent for every 10 miles travelled in ambulances.

Burnley’s A&E department was controversially downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in November 2007, when blue light cases were transferred to Royal Blackburn Hospital – 16.8 miles away.

Now Professor Jon Nicholl, dean of the school of health and related research at Sheffield University, has claimed that patient deaths go up 20 per cent for every 10 miles travelled on the road.

He has studied 10,000 999 calls where life was in danger, and said the extra deaths were concentrated around respiratory conditions.

But East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust (ELHT) bosses have said that the arrangement since 2007 has lead to ‘significant improvements’ for conditions such as hip fractures, stroke, heart attacks and also mortality.

Ian Woolley, former ELHT chairman and health campaigner, said: “I am concerned that unnecessary travel needs to be kept to a minimum.

“The findings of Prof Nicholl don’t exactly fit with East Lancashire, as Burnley has an Urgent Care Centre doing some A&E work, but I think that it serves as a warning.

“We need to make sure that as much A&E work is done in Burnley as possible.”

Rineke Schram, medical director at ELHT, said: “We agree with Prof Nicholl that for a large number of emergency patients a local emergency service is best, which is why we have UCC services at both Burnley and Blackburn.

“UCC provide treatment for minor illnesses and injuries that require urgent attention but that are not critical or life-threatening.

“These are the problems the large majority of patients attend our emergency services for.

“As Prof Nicholl states, for the minority of serious emergencies, better outcomes can be achieved in bigger specialised centres and the Emergency Department in East Lancashire has now been centralised at Royal Blackburn Hospital for the past five years, providing excellent standards of emergency care.”

Fears that Chorley hospital’s A&E department is to close, and patients redirected to the Royal Preston Hospital, have also been dismissed.

Chief executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Karen Partington, said: “We have no plans to close the emergency department at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.”

Comments (4)

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4:31pm Tue 2 Oct 12

vanmanstan says...

this can be easily done. dress up in your best blackburn rovers gear and cover with a big coat. go into burnley town centre. take off coat and shout out how good rovers are. visit to urgent care unit will follow, with free ride in emergency vehicle.
this can be easily done. dress up in your best blackburn rovers gear and cover with a big coat. go into burnley town centre. take off coat and shout out how good rovers are. visit to urgent care unit will follow, with free ride in emergency vehicle. vanmanstan

7:37am Wed 3 Oct 12

DaveBurnley says...

So what most sane people predicted is true, that lives would be lost.

Unfortunately the politicians who pushed through the move to Blackburn can't reverse their decision as this would show that they were incompetent.
So what most sane people predicted is true, that lives would be lost. Unfortunately the politicians who pushed through the move to Blackburn can't reverse their decision as this would show that they were incompetent. DaveBurnley

8:19am Wed 3 Oct 12

HairyBowls says...

Absolute farce when businessman and politicians started messing with the NHS...indeed the same whatever they touch...some things should NEVER be privatised...healthc
are, water, Gas, Electricity for a start.
Absolute farce when businessman and politicians started messing with the NHS...indeed the same whatever they touch...some things should NEVER be privatised...healthc are, water, Gas, Electricity for a start. HairyBowls

7:45pm Fri 5 Oct 12

davidinburnley says...

I went there a coup[le of months ago with a very deep cut to the hand that was bleeding profusely - and visibly.
Waited 5 mins for the receptionist to actually show up and book me in.
Waited a further 20 mins until a very surly looking triage nurse deigned to call me in (it was very busy in their defence - almost 3 other people in the waiting room).
Was asked if the kitchen roll I'd hurriedly wrapped around the injury was 'enough for a while', even though it was sodden with blood.
Asked how long was 'a while' and was told about an hour before I could be seen - but remember they were very busy with the almost three other people there. I suggested it might be wise to bind the wound with something a little more sterile and a little tighter to stem the flow of blood - she reluctantly agreed. I felt like I was asking to have her last piece of bread!
Waited over an hour to see a doctor - for 3 minutes - who said it needed stitching and I needed a tetanus. Told to sit back out in the waiting room for 15 mins and they would sort it.
45 Mins later queried why I was still waiting and told to go back through and ask.
Found all the staff cooing over a lovely baby that someone on maternity had brought in while having a brew. Doctor said 'oh no one has emptied the box - we'll be with you in a minute - I was still bleeding!
10 mins later, called in by a lovely nurse who appologised for my wait - I did mention the wound may have heald by now of its own accord and she laughed uncomfortably.
Was stitched up (finally) and told to leave it a week and then take them out myself! If it started to bleed agaon, make an appointment to see my doctor (usually several days later!) I was then told I could go.
Queried the tetanus the doctor had mentioned - nurse said 'oh yes, sorry, I missed that'!
Got tetanus, went home, sorted out the rest myself then went to Asda and bought steri-strips in case of a similar case in future.
Was there over four hours and 'treated' for less that 10 minutes in total. But remember they were very busy with almost 3 other patients to deal with!
Give us back a real hospital with real services before you inaction and inability to serve kills us all!
I went there a coup[le of months ago with a very deep cut to the hand that was bleeding profusely - and visibly. Waited 5 mins for the receptionist to actually show up and book me in. Waited a further 20 mins until a very surly looking triage nurse deigned to call me in (it was very busy in their defence - almost 3 other people in the waiting room). Was asked if the kitchen roll I'd hurriedly wrapped around the injury was 'enough for a while', even though it was sodden with blood. Asked how long was 'a while' and was told about an hour before I could be seen - but remember they were very busy with the almost three other people there. I suggested it might be wise to bind the wound with something a little more sterile and a little tighter to stem the flow of blood - she reluctantly agreed. I felt like I was asking to have her last piece of bread! Waited over an hour to see a doctor - for 3 minutes - who said it needed stitching and I needed a tetanus. Told to sit back out in the waiting room for 15 mins and they would sort it. 45 Mins later queried why I was still waiting and told to go back through and ask. Found all the staff cooing over a lovely baby that someone on maternity had brought in while having a brew. Doctor said 'oh no one has emptied the box - we'll be with you in a minute - I was still bleeding! 10 mins later, called in by a lovely nurse who appologised for my wait - I did mention the wound may have heald by now of its own accord and she laughed uncomfortably. Was stitched up (finally) and told to leave it a week and then take them out myself! If it started to bleed agaon, make an appointment to see my doctor (usually several days later!) I was then told I could go. Queried the tetanus the doctor had mentioned - nurse said 'oh yes, sorry, I missed that'! Got tetanus, went home, sorted out the rest myself then went to Asda and bought steri-strips in case of a similar case in future. Was there over four hours and 'treated' for less that 10 minutes in total. But remember they were very busy with almost 3 other patients to deal with! Give us back a real hospital with real services before you inaction and inability to serve kills us all! davidinburnley

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