If you’ve got an urgent health problem and you’re referred to hospital by a GP or you’ve visited the A&E department, it is likely that you’ll be sent to one of the recently opened Ambulatory Emergency Care Units.
The Ambulatory Emergency Care Units are based at Pinderfields and Dewsbury Hospitals. They provide an additional service to A&E and are for patients who need specialist care quickly but are unlikely to require an overnight stay. Ambulatory Emergency Care provides patients with fast access to tests and treatment without the need to be admitted or asked to come back at a later date for tests.
Working in practice
Tony Shuttleworth, 75, of Briestfield, a Wakefield patient, has had first-hand experience of the new service.
When Tony’s legs suddenly swelled up, his GP referred him direct to an Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit, where he quickly had a chest x-ray, blood tests and an ECG. His blood test results were back within an hour he was prescribed a course of medication and given a number of flexible appointments for further checks.
Tony said: “The process was very smooth; it felt like the NHS is getting in place a lot of the things they said they wanted to do.”
Local GP Dr Adam Sheppard said: “As GPs we know that sick patients with conditions which aren’t life threatening need urgent care outside A&E. That’s why NHS Wakefield and its partners has put so much emphasis on creating alternatives to A&E and making services more joined up and better able to meet patient needs. It’s clear from Tony’s experiences that things are already changing for the better,”.
Patients do not need to do anything differently. As always, people are urged to attend A&E only in a genuine emergency and to consider whether alternatives – like their GP or pharmacy – would be more appropriate.