27th September 2016
Beacon Health Centre to become part of the Urgent Care Service for the Island
We are writing to you to let you know about changes to services at St. Mary’s Hospital.
The Beacon Health Centre at St. Mary’s Hospital on 1st October 2016, has been redesigned into the Urgent Care Service (UCS). The UCS will remain co-located with the Emergency Department at St Mary’s but the UCS will only treat urgent care needs.
Beacon Health Centre has built a good reputation and is, we know, much appreciated by Islanders and visitors to the Isle of Wight. However with the shortage of trained GPs nationally and increased difficulties in recruiting GPs to the Island we are having to put in place arrangements to ensure that a clinically safe and high quality urgent care service is provided across the Island, not just at St. Mary’s. At the same time we need those using NHS services to take more responsibility for their own care and use services more responsibly. The model we are developing is in line with the Urgent Care Strategy for the Island and the principles of the My Life a Full Life programme, both of which have been the subject of much discussion and engagement with staff, stakeholders and members of the public.
With effect from 1st October we want to encourage Islanders and others to a greater understanding that the UCS is for those who have been advised by a health professional – doctor, dentist, optician, or pharmacist - or the NHS 111 service - to visit the UCS.
In the past the majority of those attending the Beacon Health Centre will have been seen by a GP. In the future those attending the UCS, depending on their needs, will be seen by a nurse, a community practitioner or a GP. This enables us to maintain the service and at the same time make the best use of the staff resource available to Isle of Wight NHS Trust as providers of the service.
The key message for Islanders and visitors to the Isle of Wight is that those attending the UCS will have tried other services first. Advice and Urgent Care is now provided in a range of locations including:
- Online e.g. www.nhs.uk, www.what0-18.nhs.uk, Isle Find It (and see mental health below).
- Telephone advice e.g. 111, Parentline , Isle Help, Action on Hearing Loss, Healthwatch IW, People Matter Travelline, Alcoholics Anonymous, British Red Cross, Age UK, Carers IW, Disablement Information and Advice Line (DIAL), Cruse Bereavement Care, Dental Advice, Frank, The Silver Line, etc. (and see mental health below).
- Pharmacy – there are about 30 across the Island open for longer than GP practices; a minimum of 8 open each day at weekends. Under the Pharmacy First scheme you don’t need to get a prescription from your GP for some conditions.
- GP practices – there are 18 across the Island where both GPs, nurses and other health professionals provide services
- Dentists and the emergency dental service – for problems with teeth
- Opticians – for problems with eyes
- Mental Health - mental health crisis line, IAPT (Improving access to Psychological Therapies), Silver Cloud, Positive Mental Health, Big White Wall
We need everybody’s support to ensure that when any of us do need urgent care it will be there for us. This means using the Urgent Care Service as appropriately as possible. As such the Urgent Care Service at St. Mary’s will in future signpost individuals to other services where the individual does not have an urgent care need and their problem can be better dealt with by another service.
The next step up from Urgent Care is Emergency Care. There are no plans to change this service - which is provided by the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s or by calling a 999 ambulance. In line with our messaging about the Urgent Care Service it is important to stress to service users that they should only call 999 for life threatening situations e.g. major trauma or loss of blood, unconsciousness, chest pain, etc.
There is a substantial information campaign underway and over the coming weeks we will be working to ensure that references to the ‘Beacon Centre’ are replaced on signage, websites, leaflets and other information sources with ‘Urgent Care Service’. We are also removing reference to the old hospital number 524081 which has been replaced with 822099. If you have references to the Beacon Centre or 524081 in your service literature or online information we would be grateful if you could amend that as well. Thank you for your assistance.
Dr Mark Pugh
Executive Medical Director
Isle of Wight NHS Trust Dr John Rivers
Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group