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Media Release

Date: 3 August 2017

RUH in partnership to run Urgent Care Centre

A new partnership is to run the Bath-based Urgent Care Centre – the unit at the RUH for patients who urgently need to see a GP or nurse but whose condition is not life-threatening.

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and partner BaNES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS) have been chosen as the preferred bidder for the centre.

The announcement follows a rigorous procurement process led by BaNES Clinical Commissioning Group. The RUH-BEMS partnership will run the UCC from 1 May 2018. It will be working closely with colleagues from B&NES Doctors Urgent Care (BDUC), who currently run the Urgent Care Centre, over the next few months to ensure the smooth transfer of the service.

BEMS is the local GP Federation, whose members include all General Practices in BaNES, as well as patients and staff. BEMS has been providing care for local patients since 2004 across a range of community services, including GP out of hours.

The Urgent Care Centre offers urgent treatment around the clock to patients who cannot wait to be seen by their local GP or are not registered with a local practice. It opened in Spring 2014 and is located next to the Emergency Department at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Dr Dominic Williamson, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the RUH, said: "We're really pleased, we have an exciting vision for the future of the service and we're confident we can further improve the way that urgent care is delivered for our patients. We've involved patients, clinicians and management teams in our plan and drawn on extensive experience of the needs of our local population to bring together the best of primary and secondary care in the UCC."

Dr Andrew Smith, Chief Executive of BEMS and a local GP, said: "I'm delighted that we have been given the opportunity to run the UCC. I believe that our partnership with the RUH will allow us to deliver a high quality, more integrated and patient-focussed service. We welcome the staff already working in the Urgent Care Centre to our partnership, and look forward to developing the service with them and the public we serve in the coming months and years."

ENDS
Notes to Editor:
  • The Urgent Care Centre is for patients who have an urgent need to see a GP or nurse but whose illness or injury is not life-threatening and does not require a visit to the Emergency Department. These patients should call 111 rather than just attend, as there may be a more appropriate pathway of care for them. If they do need to be seen in the UCC, an appointment can be made for them. If a patient believes they have an illness or injury that is immediately life-threatening, they should call 999. More information can be found on our Urgent Care Centre web page.
  • Bath and North East Somerset Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS+) is a local not-for-profit organisation that works across the community to improve patient care through providing high quality community-based clinical services and by linking together local General Practices to help develop and provide those services. It was formed in 2004 when the three local Out-of-Hours GP services combined.
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust provides 565 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome/ME.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is now working towards building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit: www.ruh.nhs.uk/fit4future

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