Work is set to begin on transforming part of Ormskirk Hospital into a £3 million state-of-the-art facility that will improve health services for the people of west Lancashire.
The Primary Care Access Centre will offer brand new services, giving people new facilities on their doorstep which will decrease the amount of travelling they have to do to see a GP without an appointment.
Four types of service offered by the facility:
• A GP-led health centre offering pre-booked and drop-in GP services from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, making it easier for people to get advice and support at a time that is convenient to them;
• Improved accommodation for the existing GP out-of-hours service;
• An Urgent Care Centre offering drop-in advice and treatment for minor injuries and ailments every day of the week from 8am to 10pm for all patients, irrespective of whether or not they are registered with a GP;
• A significantly expanded dental service with pre-booked appointments alongside an out-of-hours, emergency dental service from 10am to 10pm, seven-days-a-week.
Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire, added: “Having campaigned hard for improved local health services, I am delighted that, as promised, people across the area will soon have access to permanent health and dental services and will not have to go all the way to Southport A&E for treatment for minor injuries and ailments. They deserve nothing less."
Joe Rafferty, chief executive of NHS Central Lancashire, said: ”This is an important service which will complement existing health services in the area. The extended opening hours will mean that local people will have a greater choice of appointment times than ever before, which is what they have been telling us they want.
“West Lancashire Health Partnership has a series of innovative ideas which will help us deliver high quality care in the area, including linking the new services to those already provided at Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre.”
NHS Central Lancashire has led the project to bring a Primary Care Access Centre to west Lancashire and the services at the facility will be provided by West Lancashire Health Partnership, a joint venture between the West Lancashire out-of-hours GP service (OWLS) and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.
The new centre forms a key part of plans to improve access to local health services. Around two-thirds of practices across central Lancashire now offer appointments outside normal working hours.
Jonathan Parry, chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be involved in providing this new service which will make health care more accessible and place patient choice at the forefront of this new and innovative development.”
John Caine of OWLS said: “When we heard about this development, we felt it important to get involved because we have the local knowledge and experience to make this venture work for the maximum benefit of the people of West Lancashire.
“By working alongside existing healthcare provision we can ensure convenient and improved access to a wide range of health care."