Community urgent care – Right care, right place, first time

08 November 2018

We want to change and improve the way we provide community urgent care services in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. 

Community urgent care services provide same-day care and advice for people with urgent, but not life threatening, physical and mental health issues. These include GP out of hours, our seven GP access hubs and four local walk-in services including the one at Loxford Polyclinic.

From 29 May to 4 September 2018, we ran a consultation asking people what they thought about our proposals. The CCGs published a document Right care, right place, first time that set out two options for proposed changes, and a questionnaire for people to have their say. The 14-week consultation had the highest response ever to a BHR CCGs consultation – with over 1,000 responses from members of the public and stakeholders. 

On 8 November, the Joint Committee of the BHR CCGs have now reviewed a detailed report on the community urgent care public consultation proposals Right care, right place, first time. The Joint Committee agreed that Option 1 of the proposals should become the future community urgent care pathway for our area.  

Details of what the Joint Committee considered are available to read here

This means in future, people with an urgent health care need who can’t been seen that day by their own GP can call NHS 111 for advice. If they need to see a GP or nurse, NHS 111 can book them an appointment in a convenient community location. 

Patients will be able to book appointments at eight community locations including Loxford Polyclinic in Redbridge and South Hornchurch Health Centre in Havering. In addition, residents will be able to walk in or book urgent appointments at four Urgent Treatment Centres in our three boroughs: 

  • King George Hospital
  • Queen’s Hospital
  • Harold Wood Polyclinic
  • Barking Community Hospital 

As part of the changes, the urgent care services at Loxford Polyclinic and South Hornchurch Health Centre will become bookable, with urgent appointments available by calling NHS 111. We will support local people with these changes, so they understand they will no longer be able to walk in and wait.  

Loxford Polyclinic is a vital part of our plans for providing more services closer to home. We will continue to provide an urgent care service from the building – this decision is simply about changing how people access the service. 

In response to local feedback, we’ve committed to making better use of Loxford Polyclinic. A project group will look at how we bring more services into the building including GP practices and community health services.

During the consultation, we spoke to thousands of local people, through discussions at community groups and at drop-in sessions in town centres, at libraries and at local venues. We have been heartened that local people are generally supportive and welcome more bookable urgent appointments.

We’ve listened carefully to all the feedback and considered the points that were raised. This feedback has shaped our decision. 

We believe these changes will deliver a simpler community urgent care service, and will mean we meet national standards and the future needs of our growing population. This will provide local people with the right care in the right place, first time – which is better for local people and will help reduce pressure on our busy A&Es and GPs. 

The BHR CCGs will now begin the work to commission the new service, and will review our procurement timelines. We will continue to provide the current walk-in services until the new service is launched. 

We will be updating our website news section with details of the new service when it is decided.