Sheffield health bosses ask public to help them redesign ‘urgent care’ services five months after walk-in centre plan was shelved
NHS bosses in Sheffield are asking for your experiences of urgent care as they try to kick-start their aborted attempt to reshape services in the city.
Between September 2017 and January 2018, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) ran a consultation on proposals to close the city centre walk-in centre and minor injuries at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in favour of a single unit at Northern General.
However, after widespread public opposition, in September the CCG unexpectedly dropped the proposals and said it would take a fresh look at the plan this year.
Now they are asking people in the city to share their experiences of urgent care in the city, which is classified as treatment for physical and mental health illnesses that is urgent but not life threatening, and minor injuries.
The results of this survey will then inform a new formal consultation process due to begin later this year.
Dr Tim Moorhead, chair of Sheffield CCG, said: “We are still committed to ensuring Sheffield people who have an urgent care need can access the right care, in the right place, first time. And we believe we can improve services to make them fit for the future for the people of Sheffield.
“Since September we’ve been busy engaging people and we are also seeking the views of wider population, people who use the services, and those from harder to reach communities to really understand what the problems are before we look at possible solutions.
“We are grateful for the public’s on going co-operation, and I’d encourage everyone to fill in our survey to help us design the best urgent care services for the people of Sheffield.”
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The initial consultation on the proposals received thousands of responses from members of the public and a petition to save the services was signed by more than 10,000 people.
While the CCG always maintained their approach was the right one – the decision effectively secured the future of the two units for a further two years – until September 2020 at least.
Alistair Tice of Sheffield Save Our NHS, who campaigned successfully for the previous plans to be put on hold, said he hoped the CCG would come back with new plans but promised they would have another fight on their hands if they didn’t.
He said: “If they still intend to close the walk-in centre and minor injuries unit I am sure Sheffield Save Our NHS will be mounting a campaign to stop that happening and I am sure we will defeat it.
“We were not opposed to improving or expanding GP services but I would have thought that rational plan would be to first prove it would work before going on remove the two units.
“I fail to see what would have changed so dramatically to the capacity of GP surgeries that would make the walk-in centre and minor injuries unit no longer necessary.”
As well as the survey, the CCG will also be running public engagement workshops with patient representatives at venues across the city, although these will be invite-only.
To take part visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sheffieldurgentcare2019.