The Primary Care Assessment Service (PCAS) at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) is being renamed as Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) with new signage going up shortly.
The change of name follows the introduction of the new Urgent Treatment Centre National Standard which aims to remove the understandable confusion faced by many patients about which part of the NHS offers which service. This confusion often means that people go to A&E unnecessarily and therefore may not be treated in the best place for them. This then puts unnecessary pressure on parts of the urgent and emergency care system.
The service will continue to offer:
- A GP led service
- A service which is open between 8am – 11pm every day of the week, every week of the year.
- Appointments that can be pre-booked via NHS 111
- Access to simple diagnostics such as swabs and pregnancy tests
- Access to x-ray facilities between the hours of 9am – 5pm
- The ability to issue prescriptions
- Along with a range of other services
At the UTC, patients will continue to have easier and faster access to some urgent and emergency care services; rather than waiting in an A&E department. Patients will be able to book same day appointments at their UTC through NHS 111. Patients will also have the peace of mind knowing that their local services meet the national standard and will be open for at least 12 hours a day, every day of the year, including bank holidays.
Tim Almond, Urgent Care Senior System Manager at Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “The current choice of services can be confusing for patients, especially due to the number of different names. By standardising the name of these centres and others across the country, it will provide clarity for patients and make sure they are treated in the most appropriate place in the most timely manner.”
The UTC is not able to treat emergencies such as, central chest pain, severe breathing difficulties, mental health issues or suspected strokes etc. Patients who experience these conditions need to be treated urgently so should either dial 999 or attend the Emergency Departments at either the Royal Lancaster Infirmary or Furness General Hospital in Barrow.