A plan to change access to Corby’s Urgent Care Centre to appointment-only was approved last night (Tuesday).
Corby CCG’s governing body unanimously passed the plans, which will see the site renamed the ‘Same Day Access Hub’ and no longer take walk-in patients when a new service contract is in place.
The meeting heard from GPs, who expressed views that the changes would be “safe, if not safer”.
Speaking before the meeting, a CCG spokesman said: “The CCG would like to assure the public that the proposed new ‘Same Day Access Hub’ will effectively offer the same services as those currently provided by the UCC.
“It will not be a “downgrade” of the service, if anything the proposal is an enhancement of services.
“Formal adoption of the plans is subject to agreement by the CCG’s governing body at a public meeting this evening.
“It is proposed that the new service will be open 8am to 8pm every day of the year, deliver on-the-day care for people with minor injuries and illness, and have access to x-ray and other diagnostics.
“The only change in service will be that it is accessed by appointment rather than the UCC’s current walk-in arrangement, with appointments arranged by specially trained navigators to ensure people are booked into the right service. “This will ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time.”
The site will remain open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year, deliver on-the-day care for people with minor injuries and illness, and have access to x-ray and other diagnostics.
The CCG say it will allow 12,000 extra primary care appointments a year, reduce A&E attendances and hospital admissions and be an affordable service.
CCGs from other areas will have the option of commissioning access to the Corby Hub for their own patients, if they wish.
But the Save Corby Urgent Care Action Group said it has grave concerns over what it described as a “complete downgrade”.
A spokesman for the group said: “We have been asked not to call it a ‘downgrade’, but we are extremely hard-pushed to accept this is an extension of the service we have in existence.
“Being previously able to walk in to an excellent facility and then having to make an appointment instead is a reduction in service.
“We are told that there will be no need for public consultation on the downgraded service but consultation will be made on the access arrangements for the new service, even though residents were promised that full consultation on options would be provided.”
From February 12 to April 8, people will be able to participate send in their views on how the arrangements should work by participating online or by completing and posting a printed questionnaire.
The CCG say that the public input will feed directly into the access and navigation elements of the contract specification for the Hub service.