People in Rutland are set to benefit from extended urgent care when changes come into force from April next year.
Following a two month consultation, East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body announced on Tuesday it has approved plans to change how urgent care services are provided.
Urgent care is for people who need medical help quickly for minor injuries and illnesses, but not emergencies requiring them to go to accident and emergency.
This type of care will be on offer at Rutland Memorial Hospital in Oakham, pictured above, as well as centres in Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray for an additional 40 hours per week.
It is currently only available between 8.30am and 5pm on weekdays, but from April, patients will be able to get treatment from 8.30am to 9pm weekdays and 9am to 7pm on weekends and bank holidays.
County health watchdog, Healthwatch Rutland and Rutland County Council had backed the proposals which were put forward in February.
Tim Sacks, chief operating officer of East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The majority of people (83 per cent) who answered our urgent care consultation questionnaire backed option three, as did Healthwatch Rutland, Leicestershire Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Rutland County Council’s cabinet and Rutland People Scrutiny Panel.
“We believe this option will best help us to realise our vision of providing high quality services available closer to home, in the right locations, seven days a week including evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays.
“Our next steps will be to draw up a service specification for would-be providers of urgent care services, and any necessary procurement of services will start, with the new arrangements for urgent care beginning from April 1, 2015.”