A PRIVATE firm will take over the Urgent Care Centres at Preston and Chorley hospitals, together with the area’s out-of-hours GP services.
As previously reported in the Evening Post, local health bosses have awarded the contract to a Manchester-based company.
The Clinical Commissioning Group has now confirmed that the contract has been awarded to gtd healthcare.
The company will be responsible for the Urgent Care Centre at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital – which has replaced the A&E department which closed in April.
It will also run Royal Preston Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre, along with the out-of-hours GP services for both areas, which are currently run by a local group of GPs.
Dr Matt Orr, GP and urgent care lead for Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group, which will commission the service along with Greater Preston CCG said: “We have seen that more and more people are using accident and emergency services, and the reality is that while they might need care urgently, they don’t actually need the emergency department. This is putting additional pressure on a service which is already stretched. The urgent care service will offer an alternative for these patients, and clinical staff on each site will ensure that patients are directed to the most appropriate service.”
David Beckett, gtd healthcare’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the preferred provider to deliver urgent care services across Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble.
“gtd healthcare is a not-for-profit, values driven organisation and core to the work we undertake is the provision of urgent care and primary care services across the North West.
“Our wealth of experience and knowledge in delivering healthcare services to the existing 2.4 million patients we serve spans 20 years, and this gives us confidence that we can deliver services, which are clinically safe and of the highest quality.”
But Richard Parry, a Ribbleton GP and chairman of the Preston Primary Care Centre, says he fears the new company will not be able to cope.
He said: “We don’t think that the service will work at this cost.”