Why things need to change
We all need an urgent clinical opinion at some point, so it’s important to make sure Wirral’s healthcare services, for urgent but non-life threatening illnesses or injuries meet your needs.
We also need to make some changes to local services to fit in with national requirements and changes to urgent care.
Our current system is confusing
We previously surveyed local residents, and one of the main things we discovered was that some people were confused about where to go to get help with urgent care in Wirral.
Some people go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) when they need help because they’re not sure where to go, or because they can’t get an appointment anywhere else. A&E isn’t always the right place.
We need to ease the pressure on A&E
A&E departments are under more pressure than ever. More people are living longer with conditions, which if not managed, require emergency treatment or admission to hospital.
We also know that many people who use urgent care services are seeking treatment for less serious conditions that can easily be treated with over the counter medications or by asking their local pharmacist for advice.
Almost half of patients who went to Arrowe Park Hospital’s A&E last year had an illness or injury that could have been treated elsewhere.
This puts undue pressure on Wirral’s only A&E, and means that some of the most vulnerable and poorly people in Wirral are experiencing long waits for the care they need.
We need to look at services in Wirral that offer help with urgent but non-life threatening illnesses, to keep our A&E department for those that need it most.
Moving care closer
We want to have more health and care services delivered closer to where people live.
This will mean that in future services will be more joined up and relevant to the needs of people with an increased focus on helping people to stay well and healthy.
Our vision is to introduce four health and wellbeing centres in Wirral where we can provide more services in a location that is recognised and valued by the people who use them. The staff in these centres would work together in neighbourhood teams to help people and would include NHS staff as well as colleagues from social care, therapies and have links with charitable and voluntary organisations.
Our proposal for urgent care services is the first step to introducing the health and wellbeing centres which will take time as we review services across Wirral.
We need to meet changing healthcare needs
In Wirral, just like across the rest of the country, there is a rising need for healthcare.
There are many reasons for this, including people living longer, and people requiring complex care and treatment for conditions such as diabetes. Wirral has an older population compared with the rest of the country, so there is a greater need to care for people as they get older.
What’s happening nationally?
New national changes are also having an effect on how we organise ourselves locally.
An improved NHS 111 service www.nhs.uk
More routine appointments with GPs from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
Throughout the country, there’ll be more local pharmacists who are able to prescribe simple medications to patients.
An Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) for injuries and illnesses that require urgent care, but that are not life threatening.
And there’ll be Advanced Paramedics, able to assess and treat people in their own homes (often preventing them having to go to hospital).