A REVIEW of urgent care services across the area has been launched which could see the minor injuries unit at Malton Hospital returning to 24/7 opening.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched a 12-week initiative on Monday to gather the views of residents on plans for redesigning local urgent health care services.

Urgent care is classed as care for a sudden illness or injury that needs to be treated fast, but is not a 999 emergency. Patients do not need an appointment to access an urgent care service.

Under the proposals, two urgent care services would be established – one in Ryedale and the other in Scarborough.

The current system includes the minor injuries unit at Malton Hospital, a walk-in service at Castle Health Service, in Scarborough, and the GP out-of-hours service, from 6.30pm to 8am. About 3,000 patients access urgent care services in the area every month.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is proposing that the urgent care centre in Ryedale will provide a smaller range of services than the centre in Scarborough, however, access will be better than at present, particularly in terms of opening times, which will be 24/7, 365 days a week.

It is aimed to launch the new service by April 2015.

Dr Omnia Hefni, local GP and urgent care lead for NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, said: “Unless people tell us what they want we cannot provide them with what they need, so we do need as many views as possible. Although it makes sense to have the centre at Malton Hospital, it may be that people would like to see it elsewhere in Ryedale.

“From feedback we have already obtained from patients and clinicians in the area, and in line with national evidence, we have been able to develop a draft proposal and want to share this with the wider public to ensure that any service we develop not only enhances patient experience, but also results in a more efficient and cost-effective service.”

A campaign, launched by district and county councillor Lindsay Burr in 2012 gathered more than 10,000 signatures on a petition and was followed by a march through the town following a cut in opening hours at Malton minor injuries unit. The unit reopened at weekends last August, but remains closed in the evenings.

Councillor Burr said although she had not studied the fine details of the proposals yet, it sounded, in general, like a positive step forward.

“Our campaign not to close Malton minor injuries unit always focused on the need for the service locally to continue,” she said.

“This proposal would ensure the long-term future of Malton hospital and ease the acute problems in our A&Es. I will be working very closely with the CCG and the local doctors, to ensure we get the best outcome and I will also be attending as many meetings as possible to ensure residents views are at the forefront of the proposals.”

A public meeting will be held at Ryedale District Council offices on Wednesday, February 26, at 7pm.

More information, along with a video about the review, can be accessed at www.scarboroughryedaleccg.nhs.uk