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Featured Wednesday, Jul 15 2020

15 July 2020 Update on temporary suspension of walk in services in East Berkshire

In April this year, East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group made the decision to temporarily suspend the minor illness and injury services at the walk-in centres at St Marks, Maidenhead, Slough Walk in Centre and Brants Bridge in Bracknell. This decision was made in response to Covid-19, the changes in service demand and the most effective use of available clinical resource across the Frimley Heath and Care Integrated Care System (ICS) at that time.

These challenges still very much exist. On Friday 19th June, the Government reduced the national Covid-19 alert level from 4 (transmission is high or rising exponentially) to level 3 (epidemic is in general circulation); however, the national NHS Incident level remains at a Level 4. During this time, and across our Frimley Health and Care ICS our focus has been – and continues to be – to keep patients, families, carers and staff safe and supported.

The continuation of the suspension of walk-in same day services in East Berkshire is fully in line with this direction, maintaining the maximum safety of patients and staff as we continue to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring anyone urgently requiring treatment gets the care they need in the best possible way.

Our partners across Frimley Health and Care ICS and neighbouring health systems support these changes and we have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders prior to making the decision to continue the suspension of minor illness and injury services across East Berkshire. Staff previously working at these services have been redeployed offering frontline care and support where needed the most.

The potential for further peaks in infection means that a number of the temporary measures brought in are likely to remain in place in the medium term and we will need to be able to respond quickly to re-establish our Covid-19 surge capacity, making any further necessary changes in the months ahead.

Patients requiring minor illness care can continue to access their local pharmacy and 111 online https://111.nhs.uk or by phone where internet access is unavailable. GP surgeries continue to remain open and are accessible either by phone or using online consultations via the practice website, where patients can receive a same day response. This model of care enables assessment of patients’ needs virtually, either by phone or online consultation, after which if a face to face appointment is needed then this can be booked safely. Through this approach we can limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, keep our staff and patients as well as possible while ensuring timely same day care, for minor illness.

Anybody needing emergency treatment for injuries such as broken bones should still attend their local Accident and Emergency unit in the normal way (Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, or the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading)

The CCG would like to thank local people for their understanding while these changes are in place and also for their continued support to the lockdown measures in order to stop the spread of the virus.