Could one urgent care centre cater for Louth and Skegness?

Louth County Hospital
Louth County Hospital
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Radical changes to healthcare across Lincolnshire could leave Louth and Skegness with a single £25-35m Urgent Care Centre, with the remaining sites becoming ‘super practices’.

The Lincolnshire Health and Care’s (LHAC) Sustainability and Transformation plan (STP), released last Monday, briefly mentions the ‘re-provision of community facilities at Louth and Skegness with single site’ under a capital expenditure heading of £25-35m.

The document says there is ‘no preferred model identified but recognised need to bring under a single provider’.

A spokesman for LHAC explained that the STP lays out plans for health and care services in the community to ‘look very different’ by 2021 - with ‘joined up teams of health and care professionals working together to support local people’.

They added that the plans propose five Urgent Care Centres (UCC) in the county, including one in the ‘north east locality’.

The spokesman said: “It is likely that our GPs, many of which now work in larger federations, will offer a more extended range of services through community hubs or larger super-practices.

“This will improve the ability of the public to get an appointment seven-days-a-week with the most appropriate professional to meet their needs.

“These clinical hubs will in time be hosting GP out of hours bases, community nursing teams and greater access to diagnostic services.”

They said that over time, they would also indicate whether a UCC would be needed in an area.

UCCs, under the STP, would look to support the new integrated service.

They would incorporate a range of core facilities traditionally affiliated with A&E departments such as access to mental health services, diagnostics, blood tests and X-Ray.

Through the UCC patients would be assessed and treated or transported via ambulance to more specialist services equipped to treat their problem in an acute hospital such as Lincoln or Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.

The spokesman added: “The STP proposes that UCCs will be in Lincoln, Pilgrim, Grantham, Spalding and the fifth will be in the north east locality.

“It is yet to be decided where this location will be but it is likely that, if it is not Skegness, a seasonal service would be required to meet tourists’ needs.”

They said the STP will ‘deliver a sustainable model of urgent and emergency care provision with patient safety and satisfaction at its very core’.

The spokesman said more details would be shared with the public once these were known and would include a full consultation.