Penrith Urgent Treatment Centre will close overnight temporarily for three nights starting tonight (Wednesday 28th August).
The Trust has had to take the difficult decision as part of business continuity arrangements due to shortage of staff. The urgent treatment centre sees very low numbers of people during the night, a majority of whom can still be seen in Penrith via a CHOC appointment so the Trust is prioritising keeping the centre open during the day which is the busiest period.
The Penrith urgent treatment centre provides a service for, cuts and grazes, sprains and strains, bites and stings, infected wounds, minor head injuries, and eye problems, such as minor eye infections, scratches or something that is stuck in your eye.
Anyone who needs to access this service outside of these hours they should phone 111. The 111 service can then offer advice or direct the person to the most appropriate service, this may be:
- Their own GP during day time hours
- An A&E department
- The Urgent Treatment Centre between the hours of 8am and 9pm
- Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC) the out of hours primary care service between 6.30pm and 8am
It is important to note that CHoC operate an appointment system only, and must be accessed via the 111 service. Please do not attend the Penrith Hospital without an appointment. The clinician covering may not be on site (they may be on a home visit) and there is no medical cover on the site.
The service will resume operation 24/7 at 8am on Saturday 31st August.
Tim Evans, deputy operational lead said: “The Trust has done its utmost to keep the unit open 24/7 and we are very grateful to our staff who have already been working additional shifts, however we are unable to sustain 24/7 hours for a short period this week. We have also had great support from our partners such as CHOC to ensure that a service is still available for people in Eden. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this will cause and look forward to business as usual from Saturday.”
Signs will be clearly displayed with advice for any walk in patients to call 111 to access medical assistance. The service will operate 8am until 9pm from today (Wednesday 28th August), Thursday and Friday.
The Trust has invoked its closure plan to ensure appropriate measures are taken which include notifying all relevant partners including North West Air Ambulance Service, Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC), NHS 111 and emergency services.
Serious or life threatening conditions should be treated at A&E and by calling 999.