Urgent care: The story so far
‘Urgent care’ means the services you use when you need medical help or advice quickly, but it’s not an emergency or life-threatening.
NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been engaging for some time with local people about the creation of an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.
An UTC will treat minor illness and injuries for all ages and form a key part of our urgent care services. This is in line with NHS England’s national strategy to improve urgent and emergency care and make it easier for people to understand what services are available to them.
The UTC would bring services together including:
- our Walk in Centre, which provides urgent GP appointments to people from across Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley. This is currently located at the White Horse GP Surgery at Fleet Health Campus, Vale Road, Northfleet
- the Minor Injuries Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital
- GP out of hours services
Last year we were considering creating the UTC at Gravesham Community Hospital, relocating the Walk in Centre alongside the Minor Injuries Unit. We asked local people what they thought about this proposal and they were largely in favour.
We now have the opportunity to explore the option of locating a UTC at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.
Over the past few months, we have been talking to the public about this at our roving roadshows that have been held at various venues including supermarkets, the Gurdwara, Darent Valley Hospital, the Minor Injuries Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital and the GP Walk-in Centre at Northfleet. We have also visited local groups and organisations to find out what local people think about services, and our plans to improve them.
Possible UTC sites
During February 2019, the public were asked to respond to a survey asking for their views on where the UTC could be sited. Two possible locations put forward were Darent Valley Hospital and Gravesham Community Hospital.
The survey generated around 2,000 responses and we are now in the process of analysing the feedback, to help us shape options if we decide to take the plans further and hold a full public consultation later in 2019.
The survey was available online, in print and in Easy Read format.
The CCG is committed to ensuring the needs of the local population are considered. We are analysing the responses to the survey for consideration in the review of the urgent care centre service specification, and will bring our findings to the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) in the coming months to discuss how we will be moving forward.
If the CCG decides to take its plans further, a formal public consultation will be held later this year which will include many more opportunities for local people to have their say.
Read more about our plans for an Urgent Treatment Centre:
To read our Equality Impact Assessment click here
Find out more about Urgent Treatment Centres on the NHS England website.
If you would like to become involved in the conversation and engagement surrounding these issues you can join our CCG ‘Health Networks’ for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.