A new service has started at St Albans City Hospital, working alongside other NHS services to increase patients’ access to same day care for health concerns that are urgent but not life threatening.
From now, when Hertfordshire patients contact NHS 111 with an urgent health issue, they may be offered an appointment on the same day at the new Integrated Urgent Care Hub (IUCH). From Wednesday, 9 November GP practices will also be able to book patients into the service. This new minor illness and injuries service offers appointments between 9am and 6pm, seven days a week and provides access to diagnostic services, including x-rays. It is being run by HUC (formerly known as Herts Urgent Care), who also provide the NHS111 service locally.
Patients will be treated by nurses who have experience working in urgent care and emergency triage departments. The service is also supported by GPs who the nurses can call on for further medical support or treatment if needed. The team is able to see, treat and resolve issues for patients over the age of 1 year, with a range of non-life-threatening health conditions. Babies and children under 1 year will be directed to other relevant services.
The service is being delivered from newly refurbished space in St Albans City Hospital, which previously housed the Minor Injuries Unit. Much like GP services, patients need an appointment to be able to use the service. It does not offer a ‘walk-in’ service for patients.
David Archer, Chief Executive Officer of HUC, said, “We’re delighted to have welcomed our first patients into the St Albans Integrated Urgent Care Hub. HUC is proud of being a community-focused organisation and I know our new team of nurses, patient care coordinators, and support workers share our passion for providing high-quality care. The whole team is really enthusiastic about delivering a service that will increase access to same-day urgent care for patients.”
Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive Officer for Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board said, “The opening of this new service is great news for our patients and delivers on our commitment to deliver an enhanced urgent care service from St Albans City Hospital. The Integrated Urgent Care Hub will play a key part in taking pressure off busy GP practices and emergency departments.”
One of the first patients to use the new service said, “The nurses were outstanding - really thorough and caring. Amazing service, thank you.”