Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that Whitby Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is changing status to ensure that patients in the community have more options for care available to them.
The unit will reopen as an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) on Sunday (Aug 1).
Currently the MIU at the hospital only sees patients with minor injuries, but the new UTC will also treat minor illnesses and has X-ray facilities.
Helen Cammish, a community and primary care general manager at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said the introduction of the UTC is a “fantastic transformation”.
She said it means that patients can be directed to the right team for non-emergency care more efficiently, without impacting on the life-saving cases in an emergency department.
Sonia Rafferty, a service manager at Whitby Hospital, added: “We believe that this will reduce the need to travel to James Cook Hospital when the condition is less serious. As a result, this ensures that patients in our community have more options for care available to them in their local area.”
An added benefit of the UTC service is the introduction of bookable appointments. By contacting NHS 111 first, clinical advisors can assess a patient’s symptoms, provide guidance and, where appropriate, book an appointment at a UTC for further assessment and treatment.
Ms Cammish said: “This means that patients will experience less time in the waiting room, getting the right help, at the right time.”
The change comes as part of a national drive to introduce more UTCs across the country to make sure that local patients have improved access to urgent care, regardless of where they live.