Wigan’s new urgent treatment centre is now expected to open in January – more than two months later than planned.
The primary care centre at Christopher Home, based on the Wigan Infirmary site, is being upgraded to ease pressure on the A&E department.
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It was due to be turned into an urgent treatment centre on October 31, offering a 24/7 GP-led service with a range of diagnostic services.
But the opening date was postponed as health bosses said it was not ready in time.
Dr Tim Dalton, chairman of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, has now revealed it will open in early 2019.
He said: “We expect that the urgent treatment centre will now open early in the New Year. The delay in opening is longer than we hoped, but it is important that the new
service functions well from day one.
“Patients are not affected by this delay and we are offering extra, pre-bookable GP appointments from the primary care centre at Christopher Home, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary. The GP out-of-hours and GP extended hours services remain open throughout, along with the walk-in centre at Leigh Infirmary.”
Christopher Home, a former maternity building and eye hospital, opened last year to treat patients who go to A&E but could be seen by a GP.
Turning it into an urgent treatment centre would mean staff have access to a range of diagnostic services and can see more patients with a variety of conditions.
The change is being made as part of a review of wider GP services to offer more options other than A&E at evenings and weekends.
The review runs until April 1, but there were plans to open the urgent treatment centre earlier to help meet the
demand in A&E during the busy winter months.
The centre will be run by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with GPs from the current extended GP service and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the current GP out-of-hours service.
As part of the changes, the opening times of the GP extended hours service were being increased and the out-of-hours GP service will move to the new urgent treatment centre.