PERFORMANCE: Up to a third of patients attending East Lancashire NHS Trust’s Royal Blackburn Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre could be sent to their GP or pharmacy after research has found that many attendees should not be there.

As of the end of January patients who attend the Urgent Care Centre when they don’t need to will be assessed and then redirected back to another health professional such as their GP, pharmacist or dentist or given advice about how to look after themselves.

The changes, which are being trialled for six months, follow an audit of attendance at Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital Urgent Care Centres, which found that up to 36% of patients did not need hospital treatment.

Up to a third of patients attending East Lancashire NHS Trust’s Royal Blackburn Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre could be sent to their GP or pharmacy after research has found that many attendees should not be there.

Under the pilot scheme, senior nurses will assess patients on arrival at the Urgent Care Centre to determine whether they need immediate treatment in urgent care.