Should urgent care centre be revived to ease A&E crisis?

Lib Dem councillors Ted Lewin and Graham Longley

Lib Dem councillors Ted Lewin and Graham Longley

First published in News by

SOUTHEND Hospital should bring back plans for an urgent care centre to ease the burden on its stretched A&E department, a councillor has said.

Ted Lewin, Lib Dem councillor for St Laurence and a hospital governor, wants plans for the new centre brought back to ensure patients are seen more quickly.

Plans for the centre were scrapped in 2010 due to concerns over parking, but the new calls are made as the hospital’s A&E department struggles to cope with the influx of patients.

A report last month found it had the worst A&E waits in the country.

Mr Lewin said: “It was a shame plans were turned down and I hope the hospital reawakens them.

“Anything that can be done to speed up A&E and take the pressure off doctors is needed.”

The trust applied to build an urgent care centre, where doctors would assess and order the urgency of incoming patients’ need for treatment, a process known as “triage”, on part of the hospital car park to cut A&E waiting times in 2010.

Planning officers backed the scheme, but councillors refused it twice over the loss of 20 parking spaces as staff and hospital visitors already clogged nearby streets with cars.

The council has since introduced a residents’ parking zone around the hospital to protect people living nearby and the Lib Dems have called for the urgent care centre plan to be revived.

Lib Dem leader Graham Longley said: “Any provision for further services, including a further triage centre, must benefit the town and maybe the hospital needs to review its decision.”

Casualty delays have been blamed on people visiting A&E with less urgent health problems.

The hospital, which already has some triage facilities, brought in an extra GP to help assess patients when hit by an unusual influx of people, on Friday, April 4. Southend Council voted unanimously to urge the health and wellbeing board, which is made up of top brass from the hospital, council, the GPs responsible for Southend’s healthcare and Sept, which provides mental health, learning disability, social care and community services, to urgently address the A&E department’s poor performance at a meeting last Thursday evening.

No-one from the hospital was available for comment.

Comments (7)

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6:05am Wed 23 Apr 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

The hospital. More square meters devoted to car parking than treating patients.
Car culture gone mad.
The hospital. More square meters devoted to car parking than treating patients. Car culture gone mad. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 1

1:10pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Baker-Boy says...

anything that will speed it up. was there for over 9 hours with a sick child andwe were left for ages waiting being told nothing
anything that will speed it up. was there for over 9 hours with a sick child andwe were left for ages waiting being told nothing Baker-Boy
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Keptquiettillnow wrote:
The hospital. More square meters devoted to car parking than treating patients.
Car culture gone mad.
Fit enough to drive ?, you need a chemist, not a hospital, more whinging belly achers, clogging up the system, with their pathetic woes, hypercondriacs...
[quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: The hospital. More square meters devoted to car parking than treating patients. Car culture gone mad.[/p][/quote]Fit enough to drive ?, you need a chemist, not a hospital, more whinging belly achers, clogging up the system, with their pathetic woes, hypercondriacs... Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 3

7:05pm Wed 23 Apr 14

runwellian says...

Baker-Boy wrote:
anything that will speed it up. was there for over 9 hours with a sick child andwe were left for ages waiting being told nothing
Did you think to call 111 before going to hospital?

They provide very good advice and can save a journey, a long wait and hours of frustration!
[quote][p][bold]Baker-Boy[/bold] wrote: anything that will speed it up. was there for over 9 hours with a sick child andwe were left for ages waiting being told nothing[/p][/quote]Did you think to call 111 before going to hospital? They provide very good advice and can save a journey, a long wait and hours of frustration! runwellian
  • Score: 1

7:41pm Wed 23 Apr 14

InTheKnowOk says...

Baker-Boy wrote:
anything that will speed it up. was there for over 9 hours with a sick child andwe were left for ages waiting being told nothing
They get fined if you're not seen to in 4 hours ..
[quote][p][bold]Baker-Boy[/bold] wrote: anything that will speed it up. was there for over 9 hours with a sick child andwe were left for ages waiting being told nothing[/p][/quote]They get fined if you're not seen to in 4 hours .. InTheKnowOk
  • Score: 4

7:55pm Wed 23 Apr 14

InTheKnowOk says...

I can't fault the service at A&E and feel sorry for the Drs and Nurses who do a stella job under very stressful circumstances,... Last night for instance, the place was rammed, not a seat left in the waiting room, outside I saw 4 ambulances waiting to take patients in, even the corridors were packed with people on trolleys in a distressed state. This shouldn't be happening, they need more centres to lessen the work load and filter out those that shouldn't really be there taking up valuable beds and time!
I can't fault the service at A&E and feel sorry for the Drs and Nurses who do a stella job under very stressful circumstances,... Last night for instance, the place was rammed, not a seat left in the waiting room, outside I saw 4 ambulances waiting to take patients in, even the corridors were packed with people on trolleys in a distressed state. This shouldn't be happening, they need more centres to lessen the work load and filter out those that shouldn't really be there taking up valuable beds and time! InTheKnowOk
  • Score: 5

10:59pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Idontknowy says...

Igt would also help if people could get a GP appointment or home visit when they need it.
Igt would also help if people could get a GP appointment or home visit when they need it. Idontknowy
  • Score: 1

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