Extended opening hours at West Cornwall Hospital’s Urgent Treatment Centre

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Around 125 people each month have been making use of later opening hours at West Cornwall Hospital’s Urgent Treatment Centre.

Having successfully recruited more specially trained nurses and locum doctors, since the end of July this year the urgent treatment centre has been able to resume longer opening hours, from 8 am until midnight, 7 days a week.

West Cornwall Hospital

“Opening until midnight has been widely welcomed by people in the West of Cornwall,” says General Manager for West Cornwall and St Michael’s Hospitals, Paul Sylvester, “and as soon as we’d made the change, we started seeing a similar number of patients coming to us between 9 pm and midnight as we were before the pandemic.”

With doctor and specialist nurse cover from 8 am until midnight every day, the urgent treatment centre offers medical care for injuries and conditions such as, minor burns and scalds, simple fractures to the arms and legs, cuts, urinary infections and minor falls. Like the minor injury units around Cornwall, people don’t need to make an appointment, they can just turn up during the opening times to be seen.

Paul adds, “Our urgent treatment centre is a vital part of the urgent care service for mid and West Cornwall and is an ideal alternative for people as far as Helston, Falmouth, and even Camborne and Redruth, after the minor injury unit there closes at 10 pm. Nearly all patients are seen and treated within 4 hours, so not only is it quicker but you’ll be helping us keep the Emergency Department in Truro for those who need it most.

“Longer term we are still committed to resuming opening our urgent treatment centre 24 hours a day and are working hard on the best way to safely staff the unit around the clock and to recruit to the additional posts that would be needed.”

Kate Shields, Chief Executive for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board, said: “The Urgent Treatment Centre at West Cornwall Hospital is commissioned to operate 24 hours a day. It currently provides an invaluable service every day of the week from 8 am until midnight to help with injuries that need attention urgently but are not critical or life-threatening. We expect it to return to a 24 hour service.

“We’re committed to providing every resident with equitable access to our health and care services and are proud of the outstanding work of our staff across our 44 community hubs providing local vital support, our network of minor injury units, pharmacies and the GP surgeries and our hospitals, who work tirelessly to support that.”

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