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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 1 May 2018

RUH in partnership to run Urgent Treatment Centre

A new partnership began today (1 May 2018) to run the Bath-based and newly-named Urgent Treatment 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) was chosen as the preferred bidder for the centre last year, following a rigorous procurement process led by BaNES Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Urgent Treatment Centre, formerly known as the Urgent Care Centre (UCC), 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.

The RUH-BEMS partnership has worked closely with colleagues from B&NES Doctors Urgent Care (BDUC), who ran the former UCC, to ensure the smooth transfer of the service.

BEMS is the local GP Federation, representing all General Practices in BaNES. BEMS has been providing care for local patients since 2004 across a range of community services, including GP out of hours.

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 UTC."

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 UTC. I believe that our partnership with the RUH will allow us to deliver a high quality, more integrated and patient-focused service.

"We welcome staff to our partnership in the Urgent Treatment Centre, and look forward to developing the service with them and the public we serve in the coming months and years."


Notes to Editor:

  • The Urgent Treatment 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 UTC, 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 Treatment 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 has 759 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, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • 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:

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