Urgent care service changes to go ahead

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Health chiefs are going ahead with plans to change urgent care services in Rotherham following a consultation.

Almost 100 people commented on the proposals, which involve closing a GP walk-in service in the town centre and opening a new urgent care facility alongside the A&E ward at Rotherham Hospital.

The plans found broad support, with patients and carers for people with long-term conditions expressing frustration about the difficulties they currently face when seeking help quickly.

But many raised worries over limited access to the centre if it was located at the hospital, mainly around car parking, while there was also criticism of waiting times and the general environment at A&E.

The NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group formally received the consultation report at a meeting last week, and agreed to develop an action plan addressing any concerns. A final decision on the future of the town’s urgent care services is expected next month.

Changes will incorporate national recommendations from a review of urgent care services ordered by Government ministers.

Chris Edwards, chief officer of the clinical commissioning group, said: “We welcome views and comments from local people and stakeholders in helping us to shape the health services we commission.

“This is why we wanted to undertake a full public consultation on our proposals to improve urgent care services in Rotherham.”