Scrutiny committee vow to keep close watch on hospital emergency centre changes (From Bucks Free Press)
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Scrutiny committee vow to keep close watch on hospital emergency centre changes
SCRUTINY committee councillors have vowed to keep a close watch on the changes taking place at the High Wycombe Emergency Medical Centre.
At this morning's meeting of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) bosses revealed details of the new 24/7 service at Wycombe Hospital, which will take place from October. See link below.
But some councillors on the HOSC raised concerns about the plans.
Cllr Avril Davies said she would like to know what is no longer going to be provided at Wycombe Hospital at the urgent care unit.
GP chief Dr Annet Gamell said: "There are big changes in terms of admittance to Wycombe Hospital and specialists consultants who will see people in Wycombe- they are moving to Stoke Mandeville."
Although there will still be a specialist cardiac unit at Wycombe.
But Cllr Davies said she was concerned that it was very uncertain what exactly would be treated at which hospital.
Dr Gamell said it was very difficult to say that all chest pain would be treated at Stoke Mandeville.
She said for example if someone got punched in the chest they will be treated at the emergency centre in Wycombe but heart attacks will be transferred to the cardiac unit at Wycombe.
Chairman of the committee, Lin Hazell, said as far as she can see- if it is ambulance admittance paramedics will make the call where to take patients.
But she said if it is a walk-in then the person will be assessed at the urgent care centre where it is best to treat the patient, which is happening anyway.
Cllr Lesley Clarke asked if patients who went to Wycombe first and waited would they then have to wait at Stoke Mandeville if they were transferred.
Dr Gamell said there will be close linkage between the two sites and they will communicate efficiently with each other.
Cllr Bill Allen asked if he should tell his constituents who are in the south of the county to go straight to Wexham Park Hospital where they know they can access all services.
Dr Gamell said they need to be clear what services are at Wycombe.
She said: "One of the services that will be coming online later is 111, which is a single telephone number where people will be able to phone and say this is the problem-where should I go?"
And Dr Gamell said, in response to councillors' questions, that often patients first port of call will be their doctor surgery and even pharmacists.
She said: "We have got the feeling that hospitals are safe and secure and better than general practice. But general practice is doing a lot of what hospital used to do."
They estimate that 42,000 will be treated at the Emergency Medical Centre. About 15,000 who are currently seen in Wycombe are expected to be treated at Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park. But this includes ambulance calls and not just walk-ins.
The scrutiny committee noted the intent with reservations and will maintain a watching brief with the ability to suggest changes. They will review the process every three months.