People who need urgent medical attention at Trafford General’s Urgent Care Centre or Walk-in Centre will be urged to contact NHS111 before attending the hospital from this autumn.
To reduce the spread of the coronavirus and seasonal flu, and keep people safe, patients are asked to contact NHS111 before they leave home from Tuesday 27 October.
The patient will be offered a timed appointment slot in the Urgent Care Centre or Walk-in Centre or directed to another appropriate service to meet their needs, which could be a GP, pharmacy or other suitable service.
The temporary move is part of work to make the site COVID-free so that it can host a dedicated hub for elective (planned, non-emergency) surgery.
It is expected to create a more positive experience for patients who will be quickly directed to the most appropriate service, reducing the amount of time they need to wait for medical attention and being able to attend at a time that suits their needs.
Nobody will be left without care and if patients do not book an appointment via 111 in advance they will be triaged on arrival at the hospital and directed to the appropriate service. This model will replicate the national approach.
Dr Mark Jarvis, Medical Director at NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “COVID-19 has meant that a crowded urgent care department can no longer be the norm due to the risks this poses of spreading the virus.
“This approach will ensure the arrival of patients on site is staggered, enabling control of infection and creating a safer environment for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Residents who do not need to be in a waiting room should not be – to help those who do need to be seen as quickly and safely as possible.”
Those who need immediate help, but it’s not an emergency, should contact NHS111. However, if the situation is life-threatening, people should dial 999.