DOCTORS have pledged to fill a gap in NHS urgent care provision following the closure of another walk-in service in the region.
The contract for Scarborough’s popular walk-in service at Castle Health Centre ends in October but no replacement will be in place before April next year.
Yesterday officials from NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) promised to put alternative arrangements in place.
A review of urgent care, also including GP out-of-hours services, is underway in the area to give patients the “right care, first time” and also relieve pressures on hard-pressed A&E units, with around 3,000 people in Scarborough and Ryedale accessing existing services each month.
Under proposals, two urgent care centres open round the clock will be created, one in Scarborough and another in Ryedale, but due to delays in procuring the new service, there will be a six-month delay until alternative provision opens.
GP Peter Billingsley, lead for urgent care at the CCG, said stop-gap services would be put in place. “With regards to Castle Health Centre, it’s clear that local people really value the service it offers and, whilst they support the fact that the walk-in element will be provided as part of our new urgent care service, they have concerns about any gap in provision between October and April,” he said.
Locations for the new urgent care centres had not yet been selected as it was important to find out from local people what they felt was important in terms of location and accessibility. The new provider would be selected through competitive tender and choosing a location could also limit numbers who might bid, he added.
Meetings over the future of urgent care in the area are being held in Malton on Wednesday, in Eastfield, Scarborough, on Wednesday, March 5, and in Filey on Thursday, March 13.