Lancashire TelegraphTime wasters at East Lancashire's urgent care centres told to see GPs (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Time wasters at East Lancashire's urgent care centres told to see GPs

A THIRD of patients seeking help at Blackburn’s Urgent Care Centre could be sent to their GP or pharmacy after research found many attendees should not be there.

The changes follow an audit of attendance at Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital’s UCCs which found that up to 50 patients a day did not need hospital treatment.

The scheme is being run for a six-month trial at Blackburn and if it is found to be successful, will be rolled out to Burnley.

Each patient who visits the UCC costs the NHS a minimum of £54, even if they do not receive any treatment, leading the NHS in East Lancashire to overspend £7million on unplanned care last year.

From today, residents who go to the centre unnecessarily will be redirected back to another health professional such as their GP, pharmacist or dentist, or given advice about how to look after themselves.

Patients will be assessed on arrival by a senior nurse using a computer system that helps determine how urgent a request for clinician attention is and what priority to assign to them.

Dr Charles Thomson, ELHT Emergency Department Consultant, said: “Patients may think that hospital is the best place for them, but that is not always the case. Urgent Care Services need to be reserved for urgent illnesses and injuries that cannot be treated elsewhere.

“Colds and grazes are not urgent.”

Dr Zaki Patel, a Blackburn GP, said: “Some patients visit the Urgent Care Centre repeatedly.

“We had one patient who attended 40 times with the same symptoms, which didn’t need treatment.

“And another who visited nine times in a single week with four different complaints and left before treatment.

“In both cases, these patients could have received assessment and reassurance from their GP or the NHS 111 helpline.”

The scheme has been jointly developed by ELHT and both the East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Dr David White, a Burnley GP, said: “This is not about making savings, but about spending wisely and making sure vital resources are available for those who need them most, while at the same time making sure all patients get the treatment they need in the right place.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:30am Mon 28 Jan 13

burner says...

That rich !!! It can take several days to see my doctor, unless I am the lucky one to be first in when they switch the phones on at 8 am. Three minutes later and all appointments are gone.
That rich !!! It can take several days to see my doctor, unless I am the lucky one to be first in when they switch the phones on at 8 am. Three minutes later and all appointments are gone. burner
  • Score: 0

11:22am Mon 28 Jan 13

Bess1e says...

Patients don't always know whether their symptoms are serious or not - after all, if they did, they'd be working at the hospital! Bad indigestion can often be mistaken for a heart attack. I know that all NHS facilities need to maximise their efficiency but asking patients to self-diagnose is very risky, imho.
Patients don't always know whether their symptoms are serious or not - after all, if they did, they'd be working at the hospital! Bad indigestion can often be mistaken for a heart attack. I know that all NHS facilities need to maximise their efficiency but asking patients to self-diagnose is very risky, imho. Bess1e
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Mon 28 Jan 13

BRFC195 says...

the telegraph are also reporting a case today of meningistis to which a life was lost it was reposted in his story that he visited a chemist and was told it was flu to which his wifes condition resulted in her dying .
the telegraph are also reporting a case today of meningistis to which a life was lost it was reposted in his story that he visited a chemist and was told it was flu to which his wifes condition resulted in her dying . BRFC195
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Mon 28 Jan 13

jimpy0 says...

If your GP is oversubscribed then xchange him/her, there are many that operate a no wait system just turn up on the day.
If your GP is oversubscribed then xchange him/her, there are many that operate a no wait system just turn up on the day. jimpy0
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Shirley Bassey says...

There's also the NHS 111 number - they give you advice about where to go if you're not sure so you don't have to worry about diagnosing yourself and getting it wrong.
There's also the NHS 111 number - they give you advice about where to go if you're not sure so you don't have to worry about diagnosing yourself and getting it wrong. Shirley Bassey
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Pinky&theBrain says...

What a farce, this hospital is appalling, death rates the 5th highest in the country, mis diagnosis of meningitis by a pharmacist just this week, and a GP service that has so little access it beggars belief. When you need to be seen by your GP you have to call 2 weeks in advance and plan your illness. How do the 'senior nurses' think they're going to get you in to a GP who is already booked up, or out on visits.This whole health care system is on a path to financial ruin, and right at the centre is a hospital that can't keep people alive, use Locums and agency staff as the normal way of filling vacancies because no-one wants to work for them, and now have decided the best way to solve their problems is turn people away. GPs think they are running the show? I say it's the hospital that is running away with the health budget so they can fund the staffing budget - and they should be suffering - not patients.
What a farce, this hospital is appalling, death rates the 5th highest in the country, mis diagnosis of meningitis by a pharmacist just this week, and a GP service that has so little access it beggars belief. When you need to be seen by your GP you have to call 2 weeks in advance and plan your illness. How do the 'senior nurses' think they're going to get you in to a GP who is already booked up, or out on visits.This whole health care system is on a path to financial ruin, and right at the centre is a hospital that can't keep people alive, use Locums and agency staff as the normal way of filling vacancies because no-one wants to work for them, and now have decided the best way to solve their problems is turn people away. GPs think they are running the show? I say it's the hospital that is running away with the health budget so they can fund the staffing budget - and they should be suffering - not patients. Pinky&theBrain
  • Score: 0

10:09pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Fire Fly says...

Common sense at last!

50 patients per day not actually needing to be in the urgent care centre & a batch of repeat offenders.

How much time do these 50 cases take up ? On each of these days, how many times have we had articles about the waiting time in the urgent care centre's & how many times do people comment on here that the waiting time is disgusting?? Now its, people can't be expected to know f they are very ill or not....umm I reckon you could hazard a very good guess in a lot of cases.

This hospital has its issues without question but its about time people stopped overreacting when ill or spitting their dummy out because the GP is busy by heading to A&E with minor illnesses.

Unless people readjust their expectations of the NHS, we wont have one left.
Common sense at last! 50 patients per day not actually needing to be in the urgent care centre & a batch of repeat offenders. How much time do these 50 cases take up ? On each of these days, how many times have we had articles about the waiting time in the urgent care centre's & how many times do people comment on here that the waiting time is disgusting?? Now its, people can't be expected to know f they are very ill or not....umm I reckon you could hazard a very good guess in a lot of cases. This hospital has its issues without question but its about time people stopped overreacting when ill or spitting their dummy out because the GP is busy by heading to A&E with minor illnesses. Unless people readjust their expectations of the NHS, we wont have one left. Fire Fly
  • Score: 0

7:45am Tue 29 Jan 13

kate11 says...

Oh Firefly here you go again defending the hospital while everyone else can see there is a problem with how East Lancs Trust is managed! Pinky&theBrain and Bess1e are spot on! Maybe you should listen to them and actually comment on what they have said rather than telling us your own agenda!! This just shows managers at the hospital do not listen to the staff or the patients !
Oh Firefly here you go again defending the hospital while everyone else can see there is a problem with how East Lancs Trust is managed! Pinky&theBrain and Bess1e are spot on! Maybe you should listen to them and actually comment on what they have said rather than telling us your own agenda!! This just shows managers at the hospital do not listen to the staff or the patients ! kate11
  • Score: 0

9:40am Tue 29 Jan 13

cutthebull says...

Fire Fly wrote:
Common sense at last!

50 patients per day not actually needing to be in the urgent care centre & a batch of repeat offenders.

How much time do these 50 cases take up ? On each of these days, how many times have we had articles about the waiting time in the urgent care centre's & how many times do people comment on here that the waiting time is disgusting?? Now its, people can't be expected to know f they are very ill or not....umm I reckon you could hazard a very good guess in a lot of cases.

This hospital has its issues without question but its about time people stopped overreacting when ill or spitting their dummy out because the GP is busy by heading to A&E with minor illnesses.

Unless people readjust their expectations of the NHS, we wont have one left.
Couldn't have said it any better myself! My granddaughter had to wait in urgent care recently for 3hrs with a broken arm & the waiting room was full of people. I overheard several conversations 1 being a fit young lad who had a rash on his arm for 7 months! Why was he there??? His girlfriend was also waiting to see the doctor because she had a runny nose! These two people where infront of my granddaughter so her treatment was being delayed because I would say as a nurse that these two people do not need to be there. In 7 months you've not tried to make an appointment with the gp? Times that by 50 people a day! Kate11 you don't know what your talking about, the NHS is being abused by people, in the 60s my mum always said I had to be dying or my arm dropping off before I saw a doctor. Now people expect to see a doctor for a sniffle? Really is that what the system was designed for? No!. My friend works on A&E & she has took me about people who book in to get paracetamol! They'd rather sit for 4 hrs than pay 20p for a packet because they'll get it for free. I for one welcome any scheme that installs common sense into the public. Also majority of those who abuse the system don't often pay into it!
[quote][p][bold]Fire Fly[/bold] wrote: Common sense at last! 50 patients per day not actually needing to be in the urgent care centre & a batch of repeat offenders. How much time do these 50 cases take up ? On each of these days, how many times have we had articles about the waiting time in the urgent care centre's & how many times do people comment on here that the waiting time is disgusting?? Now its, people can't be expected to know f they are very ill or not....umm I reckon you could hazard a very good guess in a lot of cases. This hospital has its issues without question but its about time people stopped overreacting when ill or spitting their dummy out because the GP is busy by heading to A&E with minor illnesses. Unless people readjust their expectations of the NHS, we wont have one left.[/p][/quote]Couldn't have said it any better myself! My granddaughter had to wait in urgent care recently for 3hrs with a broken arm & the waiting room was full of people. I overheard several conversations 1 being a fit young lad who had a rash on his arm for 7 months! Why was he there??? His girlfriend was also waiting to see the doctor because she had a runny nose! These two people where infront of my granddaughter so her treatment was being delayed because I would say as a nurse that these two people do not need to be there. In 7 months you've not tried to make an appointment with the gp? Times that by 50 people a day! Kate11 you don't know what your talking about, the NHS is being abused by people, in the 60s my mum always said I had to be dying or my arm dropping off before I saw a doctor. Now people expect to see a doctor for a sniffle? Really is that what the system was designed for? No!. My friend works on A&E & she has took me about people who book in to get paracetamol! They'd rather sit for 4 hrs than pay 20p for a packet because they'll get it for free. I for one welcome any scheme that installs common sense into the public. Also majority of those who abuse the system don't often pay into it! cutthebull
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree