Following the submission of her Urgent Care Centre petition to Parliament back in May, Rachel Maclean, the MP for Redditch County, is once again calling on local health bosses to publish their plans for this new service at the Alexandra Hospital as soon as possible.

More than 1,000 Redditch resident’s signed Rachel’s petition which urged Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group to bring forward, without further delay, plans for the promised implementation of the GP-led service.

Rachel launched the petition back in February after speaking to residents who were angry the Urgent Care Centre still wasn’t operational, despite health bosses promising residents this service last year.

This new service was said to be key to the proposed model of Acute Services at the Alex after paediatric care was centralised to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The GP-led Urgent Care Centre will work alongside A&E at the Alex, and will treat adults and children with minor or moderate illnesses and injuries. The opening of this new service will not result in the further downgrading of the hospital’s A&E.

After submitting her petition to Parliament in May, the Department for Health and Social Care has now responded. The Department has joined Rachel in calling on local health bosses to publish their plans for the implementation of the Urgent Care Centre as soon as possible. This is to ensure residents are kept up-to-date with the plans.

 In response to Rachel’s petition, the Minister of State for Health, Stephen Barclay MP, said: “The proposed reconfigurations under the acute service review took place under emergency measures over the previous two years (Maternity, Paediatrics and Acute Surgery). Our understanding is that the only aspect that has not yet been implemented is the urgent care centre proposal for the Alexandra hospital site in Redditch.

“South Worcestershire CCG is currently working through the detail of the national guidance that has been issued with regard to urgent care centres, prior to commissioning a revised model for the Alexandra hospital site. The CCG is aiming for the centre to be open by December 2018. We would urge the CCG to publish any additional plans for implementation as soon as is possible, to ensure the local population are kept up to date with plans and progress.

“The CCGs are currently in the process of scoping out a range of options for the operational approach to the development of the UTC, including how it best interfaces with other local services such as the primary care out of hours services also based at the Alexandra Hospital and Neighbourhood Teams within the local community.

“Rather than children being seen by A&E professionals, the UTC at the Alexandra Hospital will provide access to a primary care professional who will be experienced in treating a broad range of child health conditions. If a child was poorly enough to require admission to hospital, then they would need to be transferred to either Worcester or Birmingham.”

Rachel said: “Although local health bosses have confirmed to the Department for Health and Social Care when they intend to open the Urgent Care Centre, I’m redoubling my efforts to ensure the CCG publishes their plans as soon as possible. My constituents are entitled to know what is going on, especially when they were promised this new service last year.

“We need this GP-led Urgent Care Centre up and running to give parents peace of mind that their children can be treated at their local hospital. I’m concerned that timescales can slip, as residents have seen time and time again with their local health services, so I would urge the CCG to publish their plans as soon as they can.”