Hospital opens brand new urgent treatment centre
A major hopsital has opened a new urgent treatment centre to help relieve growing pressure on accident and emergency (A&E).
The new 24/7 centre at Colchester Hospital will take over the treatment for many of the common ailments for which thousands of people currently attend the emergency department (ED), including sprains, cuts and grazes, fever and vomiting.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs the hospital, said the new UTC - which replaces the walk-in centre in Turner Road - would help with "in turn freeing up the ED to focus on providing care for the most critically ill and seriously injured patients".
A statement from ESNEFT earlier in the year added: "It will reduce the amount of time they need to wait for treatment, in turn improving their experience of accessing care."
ESNEFT also said that the change "answers calls from the public to simplify the services in Colchester and deliver from one place, as much as possible".
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The hospital's transformation clinical lead, Dr David Hodgkinson, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to properly integrate urgent and emergency care services across our wider healthcare system whilst protecting specialist emergency services for the critically ill and injured."
The UTC at Colchester Hospital opened on Tuesday, October 1, with a similar centre also opening at Clacton Hospital - which will be available between 8am and 8pm each day.
The Clacton Hospital UTC replaces the hospital's minor injuries unit, but remains on the same site.
An urgent treatment service is also running Fryatt Hospital in Harwich, which will be available from 9am to 5pm.
The new Colchester Hospital UTC has also been given the thumbs up from the town's MP Will Quince, who described the changes as "significant improvements".
Writing on his Twitter feed, he added that it "represents the biggest investment in Colchester Hospital for decades".
For more information about the new centres, click here.