Changes to Rutland hospital explained

NEW plans for emergency medical care in Rutland were outlined at a public meeting on Wednesday night.

About 100 people listened to doctors from the area at the meeting in the Victoria Hall in Oakham. They discussed ways the NHS will change in the county with the new consortia due to take over from the primary care trust in 2013.

Information was also given about the new acute treatment centre, formerly the minor injuries unit at Rutland Memorial Hospital, which is being taken over by Oakham Medical Practice today.

The service will still be based at the hospital and will remain open to everyone in the county in need of urgent medical attention for a minor injury. Patients registered at Oakham Medical Practice will also be able to attend the centre for same- day emergency appointments.

Practice director Don McGeorge said: “It has come about because the primary care trust can no longer provide the same service so we have had to divorce one from the other.

“This will be based on a 12-month contract and it will be reviewed mid year. Its future will be decided by the new consortia which will take over when the primary care trusts are disbanded.

“It is one of those services that by its nature will be in use.”

The minor injuries unit costs £109,000 a year to run, but the primary care trust will still pay for the service.

The move comes as the Government’s plans to give more power for healthcare to doctors and patients which also means doctors and patients will be able to address issues that might arise.

Mr McGeorge has vowed to review the opening hours of the acute treatment centre, which were changed from 9am to 9pm to 9am to 5pm in December.

Mr McGeorge said: “The practice is excited to gain some extra space and to continue to be able to contribute to an essential service for Rutland people.”

Catherine Griffiths, chief executive of NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland and NHS Leicester City, said: “This change in management of community health services gives us the opportunity to build on the good work our community staff do, and to foster even stronger links with healthcare colleagues in local trusts. At a time of change in the local NHS, these arrangements will secure continued good quality care and provide opportunities to develop community services in partnership with the new GP consortia.