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Appointment muddle at

town’s new 8 to 8 Centre

    By Nicola Watson  

CONFUSION has erupted following changes to healthcare which has seen residents experiencing problems accessing appointments at Withernsea’s new 8 to 8 Centre. Changes were made by the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). In a £60,000 advertising campaign by the CCG residents were advised how the Withernsea 8 to 8 Centre would be accessible on an appointment-only basis through the NHS 111 call system.

But just a week after it replaced the minor injuries unit at the hospital, some residents have been unable to get an appointment.

Withernsea resident Jim Blake called for an appointment with the symptoms of an infected finger. He took the 111 operator through his symptoms and was directed to the Beverley Urgent Treatment Centre. He asked if he could attend the Withernsea 8 to 8 Centre, but claims the operator stated that Withernsea 8 to 8 Centre is not on their system. Mr Blake said: “It’s an appalling situation we are being led into. If nobody knows about the 8 to 8 Centre it’s not going to be used. I was instructed to go to Beverley for an infected finger, a 45- minute drive, but what if I hadn’t a car? Its two bus rides. It’s a crazy situation.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council Councillor Lyn Healing, said: “What really annoys me apart from the disruption for residents is the fact that the week before I had a meeting with CCG and City Healthcare Partnership voicing my concerns around the NHS 111 line. They were adamant that it would work well but clearly it didn’t. I have been informed it is now up and running correctly, though I will be monitoring the situation myself as I am aware of a resident that has been directed to Beverley on Tuesday with a Minor Injury.”

Deputy Chair of Withernsea Health Forum Brian Cloke tested the parallel online 111 system, a new national service, being piloted. He said he had a sprained ankle and was advised to see a GP as ‘no other services are currently available’ in his postcode area. He then asked CCG officials to carry out tests on his postcode.

Mr Cloke said: “I used the online service so I wouldn’t be wasting the 111 operator’s time. It reinforces our concern that there is no mention of the 8 to 8 Centre. I would like it to work, I’m not trying to be negative, but it needs to be a clear option on the 111 system.”

Alex Seale, Director of Commissioning and Transformation at the East Riding of Yorkshire CCG said.: “The 8 to 8 service has not been included as an option on the online system as it is local to the East Riding of Yorkshire area and access is only available by someone calling NHS111 so an appointment can be arranged for them. By calling NHS111 the patient will be directed to the most appropriate treatment.”

“Where the condition is clinically appropriate for an 8 to 8 Centre appointment but also falls within the list for urgent treatment centres, the 8 to 8 Centre will come up first on the list.

Every patient who calls NHS111 is different and whilst they may present with, for example a ‘sprained ankle,’ not every sprained ankle will be appropriate for an 8-8 Centre, some may only need self-care advice, some may present with other accompanying symptoms which could signify something else going on that would need to be clinically managed on a different pathway.

East Riding CCG chief officer Jane Hawkard said: “If any patient is concerned and would like their experience looked into we would advise them to contact our Patient Relations team on: 01482 672047 or ERYCCG. [email protected] nhs.net”

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