In a letter to Rachel Maclean, the MP for Redditch County, from the Accountable Officer for Redditch & Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Simon Trickett, the man responsible for the implementation of the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) has debunked myths about the impact this new service will have on the Alexandra Hospital.

Following Rachel’s successful Parliamentary Petition, which called on health bosses to launch the Urgent Care Centre at the Alex as soon as possible, a number of myths began to spread on social media about what effect the UCC will have on the A&E at the Alex.

Despite attempts to scaremonger about the future of Redditch’s A&E, more than 1,000 people signed Rachel’s petition in a clear demonstration of support for this new service at our town’s hospital.

Rachel has always made it very clear that the opening of the UCC will not result in the further downgrading of the Alex’s A&E, has had been suggested on social media. This is because the A&E at the Alex is a Type 1 A&E and national guidelines state that UCC’s can replace Type 3 and 4 A&Es only.

The petition launched by Rachel, which she will present to the House of Commons soon, clearly demonstrates that Redditch residents want to see further investment into their hospital and the opening of this new service as soon as possible.

The Urgent Care Centre will treat both adults and children with minor and moderate injuries and illnesses. Patients with more serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses will continue to be treated in A&E at the Alex.

Once the UCC is operational, children who are taken to the Alex for emergency care will be assessed and given initial treatment in the centre. Most children will be treated and discharged, and some will be referred to consultant-run children’s clinics at the Alex for specialist treatment.

As is the case now, any child who is seriously ill and is taken to the Alex will be stabilised and transferred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital. This protocol was put in place before Rachel was elected last June and it will not change when the UCC is operational. The service A&E currently provides will not change as Mr Trickett confirmed in his letter to Rachel.

He said: “We do not anticipate any change in terms of the management of paediatric patients at the Alexandra Hospital. For those children who attend the Alexandra Hospital, are assessed and treated and require a subsequent overnight stay, they will continue to be transferred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.”

In his letter to Rachel, Mr Trickett also confirmed the Urgent Care Centre Project Team aims to have an operating model outline by the end of May, with the hope the UCC will be operational by December 2018. The CCG is also working with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on staffing for this new service.

Rachel said: “The Alex is my local hospital and I was very concerned about the amount of mischief making on social media with false claims made about the impact the Urgent Care Centre will have on the Alex’s A&E.

“This mischief making resulted in scaremongering and so it was absolutely right I got Simon Trickett, the man responsible for managing this new service, to debunk a few myths swirling around on social media.

“Mr Trickett could not be more clear that the UCC will not change the Acute Trust’s management of paediatric patients at the Alex. The current protocols will remain the same when this new service is operational.

“I could also not be clearer that the Urgent Care Centre will not result in the further downgrading of the A&E at the Alex. The UCC and the A&E will work side-by-side. In fact, when the UCC is open, parents and carers in Redditch will have peace of mind that their child can be treated at the Alex for moderate and minor injuries and illnesses.

“I’m fighting for more investment and new services at the Alex and I’m looking forward to presenting my petition to the House of Commons to clearly demonstrate residents’ support for the Urgent Care Centre.”