• East Riding of Yorkshire CCG approves urgent care consultation
  • Proposals include closing up to four minor injury units and replacing them with urgent care centres
  • Community beds and a sub-acute rehabilitation centre at East Riding Community Hospital could be shut

Up to four minor injury units in east Yorkshire could be closed and replaced with urgent care centres as part of plans to reduce the fragmentation and low use of some facilities.

East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body approved yesterday plans for a 12 week consultation on the future of urgent care services.

Board papers said the proposals include replacing minor injury units with urgent care centres, and creating a single “sub-acute and intensive rehabilitation” hub while closing community beds at two hospitals.

The CCG proposed changing how the MIUs in Beverley, Goole, Bridlington, Driffield, Hornsea and Withernsea are managed.

Two or three units will be upgraded to urgent care centres open 16 hours a day, seven days a week. They will all provide advice, treatment and diagnostic facilities including x-rays. They will link with the wider urgent and emergency care pathway by having ambulances and NHS 111 send patients to them.

The clinical senate for Yorkshire and Humber said in August maintaining six MIUs was “not sustainable” because of the inability to recruit clinical staff to underused centres.

“This is compounded by the low level of usage by the public, as low as 5-10 patients per day, in the coastal units, which does not allow staff to maintain their range of skills and competencies,” it said.

The CCG’s preferred option for community beds and rehabilitation services is to:

  • create an integrated community sub-acute and intensive rehabilitation centre at East Riding Community Hospital in Beverley, with 12 community beds and 17 intensive rehabilitation beds;
  • provide 15 “time to think” beds in three residential care homes for short stay patients to improve discharge the pathway from hospital to home;
  • create more “home first beds” to provide nursing care in the patient’s home; and
  • close community beds at Bridlington and Withernsea.

The 12 week consultation is expected to begin on 25 October. The CCG governing body is expected to make a decision in March.

CCG chief officer Jane Hawkard said the proposals will provide more “consistent” urgent care services and support more people back to independence.

She added: “By providing a consistent service, the centres will be better connected to the wider urgent care system and will allow NHS 111 and ambulances to direct and drop off patients there. This is not possible with the current minor injury units.

“We want to be able to invest in our local workforce and improve intensive rehabilitation services so we can support more people back to independence sooner. Our proposals will help us to have the right type of beds in the community to better meet the needs of local people through strengthened support at or close to home.”