The service originally opened in 2021 but staff were unable to host an official opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic and so the celebrations also marked the official opening of the UTC.
Sarah Woodman, Head of Operations, said “In 2020 there was a national requirement for all minor injuries units to become urgent treatment centres meaning they could see and treat people with minor illnesses as well as minor injuries.
In the midst of the covid pandemic, the team worked quickly to move the MIU from its original small home in the middle of the Petersfield community hospital to take over what was the outpatients’ unit and health education room to provide more treatment rooms, a larger reception area and a dedicated resus suite. A new clinical lead was appointed (Emily Trembath), service lead (Paul Fisher) and GP leadership from our colleagues at The Swan Surgery.”
The Urgent Treatment Centre is open seven days a week from 8am – 8pm all year round. One of the main priorities of the UTC is to prevent people with minor injury or illness from attending emergency departments at local hospitals, freeing staff up to see the more life threatening and complex conditions. This has meant redirecting and educating patients to attend the most appropriate service for their medical need such as the UTC’s, Pharmacies and GP Practices.
Actor, Hugh Bonneville, known for his roles in Downton Abbey and the Paddington films, attended the Centre on Wednesday 24 August to commemorate the opening and celebration saying, “Since opening last year, the Urgent Treatment Centre in Petersfield has provided a vital service to the local community. Congratulations to everyone involved on their continued commitment and dedication to the UTC which in turn helps to alleviate the pressure on the emergency services in the area.”
The UTC now sits at the front of the hospital and has been operational for just over a year. In this time the service has grown from 30 patients a day, when it was an MIU, to now an average 80 patients per day presenting with a variety of illness and injuries.
Patients who have utilised the urgent treatment centre have commented, “A very quick and efficient service with a smile. We didn’t have to wait long and I was able to wait with my son and support him. Please continue to keep this amazing service going strong. It’s such an important part of the community and gives piece of mind.”
“Fast efficient service on both visits, super friendly staff. Thank you so much.” “I had to attend the unit for a swollen eye. The staff are very friendly constantly smiling making you feel welcome. The whole atmosphere gives you a calm, relaxed feeling. The nurse who treated me was very reassuring and caring while listening to me. Thank you so much.”
The future for Petersfield UTC will see even closer working with the other Urgent Treatment Centres in Gosport and Portsmouth, primary care teams and the local Emergency Departments (ED) to help people needing emergency, urgent or same day treatment to get to the right place first time for the help they need.
Emily Trembath, Clinical Lead, commented on the celebrations “It’s been a nice opportunity to celebrate everything we have done over the last year. It’s had its ups and down but overridingly the staff we have working with us have pulled together to make sure we can see and treat as many people as possible. “
“We are thrilled to have this facility in Petersfield community hospital as it is a great service for people in the local area. We look forward to continuing to grow and develop and further improve working closely with colleagues in primary care, 111 and the hospitals.”
To find out more about what the Urgent Treatment centre can support with and how to access the service please click here.