STRUCTURE: A scheme aimed at reducing accident and emergency attendances is causing “confusion and complaints” among patients, according to primary care trust board papers.

Since 1 June patients presenting at A&E, or the the Clover integrated urgent care centre, at the Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust campus with an agreed list of conditions and who are non urgent are being referred to the Swindon Health Centre run by social enterprise Carfax Health Enterprise or to self care.

A report to the board of NHS Swindon puts the policy at high risk of failing. It reveals Carfax has reported seeing an extra 10 patients a day on average but the emergency department is diverting to Clover, a collaboration between by GWHFT, NHS Swindon and NHS Wiltshire, rather than Carfax.

This has led to patient complaints and confusion. The report states: “Comms team working together with member of the public to give assurance that the change is about a new model and redirection, not a closure of service”.