South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is reminding everyone that its urgent treatment centres (UTCs) are open every day – including bank holidays.
Redcar Primary Care Hospital UTC is open 8am to 9.30pm seven days a week, with free parking.
Friarage Hospital UTC in Northallerton is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Both centres can help patients with a range of minor illnesses and injuries including x-rays and treatment for suspected broken bones.
The list of what they can treat also includes:
strains and sprains
minor head injuries
cuts and grazes
bites and stings
minor scalds and burns
skin infections and rashes
Jill Burke and Geri Wilson, managers of Redcar and Northallerton UTCs, are keen to ensure all patients get the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time.
“When you attend our urgent treatment centre with your minor injury or illness, you will be seen by a team of experienced staff who can provide the same care and treatment as you would get at accident and emergency, but in a much faster time,” said Jill.
“This is because accident and emergency staff must prioritise the much more serious symptoms and illnesses that we are not equipped to deal with here, so you have to wait much longer there if your illness or injury is minor.
“We are here to help with an extensive list of minor injuries and illnesses – and you can really help yourself, other patients and staff at all our hospitals if you select the right service for your needs first time.”
The staff at both UTCs can also treat patients with some ailments that GPs are commonly contacted for, such as ear and throat infections – but for life threatening emergencies patients should always call 999 or attend accident and emergency.
“Please don’t come here if you have chest pain, severe shortness of breath, or haemorrhage from a more serious wound or injury, sudden onset of a severe headache or a severe allergic reaction,” said Jill.
“You need to ring 999 for that or attend accident and emergency. We are here to see minor injuries and minor ailments.”
Geri added that any patients who suspect a potentially life-threatening illness like a heart attack, meningitis or stroke, need to call 999, as UTCs are not equipped to provide the right level of care and treatment for these conditions and “time is of the essence” to get the right treatment.
Both managers also encourage patients with very minor injuries or illnesses to consider self-care and pharmacies first.
Jill added: “Many people just need over the counter medications they could get from a pharmacy and again, that would result in patients getting the right treatment even more quickly.”Find out more about our UTCs