A new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Bedford Hospital which offers patients access to same day GP and nurse appointments has opened.
The facility offers appointments from 11am until 11pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Appointments can be booked by calling NHS 111 when patients will be assessed with appointments made, in most cases, on the same day.
The UTC provides convenient, timed appointments to urgent primary care without the need to sit and wait to be seen and will treat all ages, including babies and children with:
Minor eye injuries
Abdominal pain / back pain
Minor cuts and grazes, scalds and burns
The GP led service is provided by Bedford Hospital and is located next to A&E on the hospital site.
The additional appointments provide access to healthcare that is convenient to patients and enables Emergency teams to focus on the most critically ill patients.
An appointment is not essential, however those attending without a booked appointment will have to wait to be seen.
Spokesman Dr Jonathan Kirkham said: “The Urgent Treatment Centre is a new convenient service providing enhanced access to urgent GP/Nurse appointments for all patients across Bedfordshire when these are not available at their own practices or if required out of hours.
There will be extra capacity and resilience going into winter when traditionally there are pressures on all healthcare services.
“The UTC will complement other enhanced GP services provided across Bedfordshire such as Out of Hours, the Putnoe Walk-In Centre and Extended Access.
“It also represents an opportunity for A&E allowing their clinicians to deal with acute medical emergencies more quickly, resulting in less waiting and better patient outcomes.”