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UTC consultation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Urgent Treatment Centre? 

The Urgent Treatment Centre in Peterborough was previously known as the Minor Injury and Illness Unit or MIIU, it is also known locally as the ‘Walk-in centre’. All of these names refer to the same services. It is open every day from 8am to 8pm. The service treats a range of illnesses and injuries that are urgent but not life-threatening. These are illnesses and injuries that if left untreated may become more severe quite quickly. For other illnesses and minor injuries people go to their GP practice. 

What is the GP Out of Hours Service? 

The GP Out of Hours Service can be contacted through NHS 111 when GP surgeries are closed and provides access to GP services during the night (6.30pm – 8am) and over the weekends (from 6.30pm on Friday to 8am on Monday) and bank holidays. It is for patients with urgent needs who cannot wait until their GP practice re-opens in the morning or on Monday. Many patients are given advice andprescribed medicines over the telephone or video consultation, but some need to be seen face-to-face.  

Why is the relocation so important? 

The recent ‘Big Conversation’ survey highlighted that patients are often confused regarding where to go to access urgent & emergency care. The hospital provides a single 24/7 well understood place for people to go to access care. 

What is the Emergency Department? 

The Emergency Department or ED is located at Peterborough City Hospital. It is also known as Accident and Emergency, or A&E. These names all refer to the same service which provides emergency care in life threatening or very urgent cases. It is open 24 hours a day every day. 

What services are proposed to be relocated? 

  • The Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) 

  • The GP Out of Hours Service (GP OOHs) run by Herts Urgent Care (HUC) 

Moving these services will allow for a single front door to all the urgent and emergency care services at Peterborough City Hospital.  

You can travel to one location for all of your urgent and emergency health needs and will no longer have to work out which service is the most appropriate for you. Trained healthcare professionals will ensure you get the right care. 

How will the UTC work with the Hospital ED? 

The UTC will be the front door of the ED for patients who walk in.  Patients will be streamed by a senior clinician to the most suitable pathway. 

Four service streams

Is the UTC currently open on Thorpe Road? 

Yes, the UTC is currently open to treat patients at the Thorpe Road site. The service is open from 8am to 8pm every day. 

Will patients get turned away from the UTC front Door? 

No, all patients will be assessed on arrival. Following that assessment patients will be booked into the most appropriate service that best meets their needs.This may mean that somepatients will be redirected safely to other services as they have been assessed as not needing urgent care services. They may need be booked into to speak to their GP/pharmacy or be given advice on how to self-care.  This will help to relieve pressure on UEC services.  

How is the hospital going to accommodate the UTC space within the Hospital? 

The hospital has applied for national capital funding to make changes to the existing ED Infrastructure/space to accommodate the UTC and GP OOHs services.  A proposed floor plan of this is in the consultation document. 

Will patients be able to park? 

Yes, there is sufficient parking onsite for patients including disabled bays and parent and child bays. Parking charges are very similar to the City Care Centre. For patients who are streamed away (as not needing urgent care) there is a 30-minute time period where no parking charges are made. 

Currently, due to reduced outpatient numbers and less staff working on site at the PCH site the car parks have plenty of capacity. 

112 additional car parking spaces were created during 2019 providing a total of 796 parking spaces and 101 disabled parking spaces allocated for patient and visitor parking. 

There is a drop-off bay adjacent to the main entrance for visitors and patients to use with a 20-minute stay limit. 

Peak car parking times are from 9am to approx. 1pm and 1.45pm – 6pm Monday to Friday. The peak usage times as shown in the section 'How will this service work for you?' of the consultation document show that the busiest times for the UTC are mostly outside of these times. The GP Out of Hours service operates only outside of these peak times for the Peterborough City Hospital car park. 

An evaluation of public car parking charges at other Trusts has been undertaken to understand whether charging is consistent with local Trusts to adhere to the ‘waiting times'. The findings show on average, Peterborough City Hospital charges the public less for parking than other Trusts considered within the high-level assessment. 

By comparison, the City Care Centre on Thorpe Road has 82 parking spaces with five disabled parking spaces allocated for patient and visitor parking.  

What is Public Consultation? 

When considering any significant change to healthcare services, CCGs are legally required to consult with the public on the proposed change.  The CCG and Local Authority have approved the process of public consultation which is running from 5 August to 30 September. 

As a member of the public you are able to be involved in this process. When making any final decisions on the proposals the CCG will consider the response received during the consultation period. 

Will ED waiting times improve? 

Waiting times at the A&E for ‘minors’ (minor illness and injury) pre COVID were in the region of 60 mins. The new UTC model will be compliant with national standards meaning that patients will be assessed within 15 minutes and then assessed/treated accordingly.  The UTC will also be operating a booking system and in some cases, patients will be asked to ring NHS 111.  Patients will still have to wait, although this should be shorter and smoother as patients will be streamed to the most suitable pathway from the start. 

What is going to happen to the City Care Centre (CCC)? 

The City Care Centre will remain open and all the other services that are currently located there will remain the same. The CCC is used to provide space for a wide range of health clinics, not just the UTC and OOHs services. 

The proposal will mean that space is vacated at the City Care Centre. NHS property services and the CCG are working with local health stakeholders regarding the occupation of vacant space at the CCC as a wider piece of work. The aim will be to utilise any vacant space for local health provision.                                              

25/08/2020