An Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) has opened today, Tuesday 14 April 2020, at Jersey General Hospital to offer Islanders the urgent care they need, while ensuring that our Emergency Department only treats genuine emergencies.
The centre is based in the Gwyneth Huelin Wing of the hospital and will be run by GPs and other Hospital staff after an historic agreement was reached between the Government and Primary Care to work together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The UTC forms part of the Island’s urgent care provision, by managing and treating minor injuries and illnesses that have historically have been treated in the Emergency Department. Importantly, this mean that the Emergency Department will have increased capacity to manage emergencies.
Patients and visitors to the Hospital will also be screened for potential COVID-19 symptoms. This will be done by taking their temperature and asking them a series of questions to find out if they are showing symptoms of coronavirus. This means that all patients and visitors to the Hospital should now enter the Hospital via the Gwyneth Huelin Wing.
Those patients who require urgent treatment and are suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms will be assessed at the UTC, while those requiring urgent treatment without symptoms will be assessed in a separate area within the UTC. Patients who require emergency treatment and are brought in by ambulance will go to the Emergency Department as normal.
Patrick Armstrong, Medical Director for Health and Community Services (HCS), says: “It is absolutely vital that our emergency assessment capacity is enhanced by establishing an Urgent Treatment Centre to support the expected activity for COVID-19. HCS has been preparing to deal with coronavirus, and as we saw the global situation evolve, we realised the importance of having contingency plans such as the Urgent Treatment Centre in place to enable our Emergency Department to operate effectively.
“As the spread of COVID-19 is evident throughout our community, now is the right time to launch the Urgent Treatment Centre, which will play an invaluable part in supporting our emergency care pathway. We would like to thank all colleagues involved for enabling HCS and GP colleagues to provide this service in Jersey.”
The majority of treatment is offered at no charge to patients. However, a GP fee will be applicable if patients arrive for treatment that could ordinarily have been managed by a GP in the community.
The UTC is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. Outside of the UTC’s operational hours, the GP out-of-hours service will continue as normal, while the Emergency Department continues to see emergencies as usual. The GP out-of-hours service is contactable on 445445.
Government of Jersey News Release.