New Primary Care Centre to relieve pressure on Bedford hospital A&E

Health news. Photo: Shutterstock
Health news. Photo: Shutterstock

Plans have been announced for a state-of-the-art Primary Care Centre to offer improved GP access and help reduce unnecessary visits to Bedford Hospital A&E.

The new Primary Care Centre will be based at the Cauldwell Medical Centre and include a GP practice and Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) to support the hospital’s A&E department.

The UTC will be operated by Bedford Hospital NHS Trust in partnership with primary care and will offer same-day appointments over a 12-hour day, seven days a week; appointments will be made by referral from the Trust’s A&E team or the NHS 111 system.

It will allow the streaming of patients with minor illnesses from the Trust’s A&E department, ensuring that patients receive the right care, by the right healthcare professional, in the right place.

There will also be an additional on-site GP practice that will have space for up to ten GPs as well as a treatment room for minor procedures.

The Primary Care Centre is scheduled to be operational by the beginning of October 2018.

Stephen Conroy, chief executive, said: “The Primary Care Centre is an exciting opportunity that will help us to provide more joined up care to the people of Bedfordshire. By having a GP surgery and Urgent Treatment on a hospital site it gives patients the opportunities to easily access a full range of NHS services in a single location.

“The development will also help provide much needed support to our Accident and Emergency Department as we can stream patients who arrive suffering from minor illnesses to a more suitable environment which will allow emergency staff to use their specialist skills to treat our most critically ill patients.”

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust has announced p