NEW Devon CCG Media Information | Latest update on the Exeter NHS Walk-in Centres

Media information
Date: 11 August 2015

Latest update on the Exeter NHS Walk-in Centres

As the clinical commissioner for services in most of Devon, we acknowledge the public support for the Walk-in Centre (WIC) facilities in Exeter and the paper’s intention to run a campaign. It is important to note, however that no decision has been made about the future of either WICs in Exeter at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital or at Sidwell Street.  Indeed, the current review of these services is on hold.

Last year Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England Medical Director, led a national review of urgent and emergency care. This review emphasised the need for services that were clear and of high quality so that people with urgent care needs would be treated in the most appropriate setting.

In future, we should expect that patients with urgent, but not life threatening injuries or illnesses, will be treated in Urgent Care Centres, rather than Walk-in Centres.

Urgent Care Centres will provide high quality care, with consistent opening hours and clearly specified roles. This will be an improved level of service that will hugely benefit patients in Exeter and surrounding areas.

At this early stage in the process, we don’t have all the answers and we are awaiting further national guidance, which will help us make decisions locally.

What we do know is that we will commission these services through what is known as a procurement process, with times and dates yet to be agreed.  This is also dependent on national guidance that is not yet finalised.  Further public information will follow once this national guidance is received.

Should the guidance and associated local reviews lead to a proposal for a different model of care to that presently in place in Exeter, or one that differs to the proposal that NHS NEW Devon CCG recently consulted on, then further consultation would take place.

In the meantime, we expect the urgent care services currently available at the two Walk In Centre’s in Exeter to continue in the present form for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for allowing us to make this clear.  Anyone who wishes to contact the CCG should direct their correspondence to d-ccg.easternlocality@nhs.net or write to myself at NEW Devon CCG, Newcourt House, Old Rydon Lane, Exeter EX2 7JQ.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Alex Degan
GP and clinical lead for Transforming Community Services, Eastern locality
NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Ends

For more information contact Keri Ross, Community Relations Manager, on 01392 267680 or email keri.ross@nhs.net

 

Letter to NEW Devon CCG on Exeter’s Walk-In Centres

I’ve been following the saga of the future of Exeter’s Walk-In Centres for some time, and I feel I must write to NEW Devon CCG to express my fears.

Dear Sir or Madam

I have long been worried about the long-term future of both of Exeter’s Walk-In Centres, having attended meetings back in 2013.

I see from recent press reports – and a petition from 38 Degrees – that your plans may involve closing the Sidwell Street WIC.

Like many I find the commissioning and provision of such services confusing – and I was hoping that your website might help resolve that confusion, especially in the light of some of the recommendations made by Monitor in their 2014
Report Walk-in centre review: final report and recommendations
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/283778/WalkInCentreFinalReportFeb14.pdf

In particular, can I refer you to:
9.1. Bring greater clarity and transparency to commissioning responsibilities for walk-in centres
In Section 7.2, we discussed how the split in commissioning responsibilities has led to confusion about which commissioning bodies are responsible for walk-in centres or particular services offered at walk-in centres. To clear up any confusion, provide more transparency for patients and providers, and promote joint work between NHS England and CCGs, we recommend that commissioners provide more information to the public about walk-in centres.

We recommend that by 31 March 2014, CCGs publish information on their websites that describes for each walk-in centre in their geographic area:
– the name of the centre and the provider;
– the expiration date of the contract for the centre;
– which commissioning body (or bodies) is holding and managing the contracts associated with the centre;
– which commissioning body (or bodies) funds the walk-in centre or, if relevant, funds particular services provided by the walk-in centre;
– the date that any review of walk-in centre services commenced or will commence;
– which commissioning body (or bodies) is leading or will lead the review;
– where walk-in centre services are under review, what other organisations are taking part or will take part in the review and in what role; and
– which commissioning body (or bodies) is ultimately responsible for deciding whether to continue to procure the walk-in centre or particular services provided by the walk-in centre (such as the registered list and the non-registered patient services for GP-led health centres).

The statement should be in plain language so that patients as well as providers have the opportunity to understand what is happening with their local walk-in centre.

We recommend that CCGs publish this information for all open walk-in centres, including those for which a review process is already underway or near completion.

Our purpose in recommending that commissioners publish this information is to help clear up confusion around commissioning responsibilities, and to encourage CCG and NHS England commissioners to work together to clarify their responsibilities. CCGs and NHS England commissioners will need to think about how and when they will take decisions about walk-in centres. CCGs may also need to gather information, such as the date of contract expiration from NHS England if NHS England holds the contract. CCGs should then post this information on pages of their websites that give information about walk-in centre services within their areas. This could be published on a CCG’s website as a joint statement with the NHS England local area teams or other local bodies.

We also recommend that the commissioning body responsible for managing a walk-in centre contract ensure that walk-in centre providers are informed of any contract review or other relevant developments (such as possible reconfigurations or changes in services under consideration) at least six months before expiration of the contracts. Six months’ notice is sometimes required under contracts, but we are aware of instances in which providers have had no discussions with commissioners even though contracts were due to expire within a few months.

I can’t seem to find this information on your website. Is it there? If so, can you provide a direct link? If not, where can I get those questions answered?

Many thanks

Paul