The impact of Covid-19 on same day urgent care services
Due to the pandemic, health service delivery has changed to ensure patients and staff remain safe and protected. In Spring 2020 the decision was made to suspend minor injury and illness walk-in provision and redeploy the staff to better support same day access in Primary Care.
This decision was in line with the national approach, where a model of virtual assessment (by phone or online) was emphasised prior to face-to-face care, to keep patients and staff safe. This impacted 3 minor illness and injury sites across Frimley CCG:
- St Marks, Maidenhead
- Slough Walk-In Centre, Slough
- Brants Bridge, Bracknell (minor injury walk-in service has since been re-instated)
Staff from these services were re-deployed to support local primary care from the date of suspension and have been delivering care to local patients who require it on the same day for example at Weekes Drive for Slough and RBWM patients, and at Skimped Hill, Crowthorne and now more recently at Brants Bridge for Bracknell patients, along with home visiting services in all areas.
Same day minor injury services
Please note: If you have a sprain, suspected broken limb or minor scald/burn, you can use the Urgent Care Centre at Brants Bridge, Bracknell from 8am-8pm, 7 days a week for all minor injuries. This service is available to all our patients.
If you are feeling unwell, but not sure where to go, please click here.
What this means for local residents
Minor injury services have been reinstated at Brants Bridge, Bracknell as above. The services previously provided at St Marks Urgent Care Centre and Slough Walk-In Centre are now available via GP practices, NHS 111 and the additional Frimley-wide minor injury pathway described below. This ensures all patients continue to access safe and timely care while providing the NHS with the necessary resilience.
Reviewing the suspension of walk-in services at St Marks, Maidenhead and Slough Walk-In Centre
Health partners review data each month to understand patient flows, patient feedback and overall demands on urgent care services, with the aim of considering whether to reinstatement service or maintain the current offer at the Weekes Drive Hot Site, along with the Home Visiting Service.
In January 2021, a Frimley-wide minor injuries pathway was launched and is accessible via booked appointments through 111, with face-to-face care provided at the Brants Bridge site in Bracknell. The decision to provide minor injury care at Bracknell was taken following assessment of minor injury demand and general urgent care pressures at both Frimley Park and Wexham Park Hospitals. This service now also offers walk-in services for minor injuries.
We are working with our local partners to ensure we make the best decision for patient care in a sustainable manner. We continually review the availability of and access to minor illness and minor injury care to all our patients across Frimley.
The future of same day urgent care services
Following excellent uptake of the Covid vaccination and tight infection control across health sites we continue to work with local practices to develop the urgent care pathways for the next phase. We will consider how best to support capacity for same day care and secure local services, building on extensive engagement with patients and the public in recent years. These include the introduction of NHS 111 First and the move towards a greater proportion of bookable services able to meet need, the provision of greater levels of access to general practices which is convenient for patients through digital and face to face offers, and how we make best use of NHS resources.