Patients unsure of how to use new Chorley urgent care centre

PASSION: Protestors take their fight to London to reopen the A&E
PASSION: Protestors take their fight to London to reopen the A&E

A majority of residents in Chorley and South Ribble do not know what the new Urgent Care Centre is for, according to research.

The centre was opened following the closure of Chorley’s A&E department in April but a report has revealed that 55 per cent of people are still flummoxed about how to use it.

The purpose of the Urgent Care Centre is to provide treatment for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. It was hoped that it would relieve the strain that Chorley A&E’s closure would have on other such departments elsewhere.

In an announcement at the time a spokesman from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said that fractures to limbs, muscular sprains, dislocation of fingers and toes, and burns and scalds, could all be treated effectively by the GP-led service.

But now Sheralee Turner-Birchall, chief officer of Healthwatch Lancashire which published the new report, has called for those responsible to provide further clarity for patients.

“It is important that the messages people receive are clear so they are able to make the right choice when visiting health and social care services,” she said.

Meanwhile campaigner at Chorley Hospital against Cuts and Privatisation Steve Turner said the results were in line with the anecdotal evidence he had. “We get quite a few enquiries about what the centre treats and what it doesn’t.

“The communication from the Trust has been pretty poor.”

Now bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust have pledged to take action.

“It’s clear there is still confusion about what an Urgent Care Centre provides,” said chief executive Karen Partington.