Beds, Herts & Bucks

Wycombe Hospital emergency medical centre closes

Emergency patients in south Buckinghamshire must now travel to Stoke Mandeville or Slough for treatment.

The emergency medical centre at Wycombe Hospital has been replaced by a 24-hour minor injuries and illness unit.

The new GP-led centre is for patients with urgent health problems they cannot treat themselves.

Hospital chiefs say the changes mean emergency patients will get better care in more specialist A&E departments.

Clinical lead Dr Kevin Barnett said: "If we try and concentrate the acute, emergency, serious treatment at one site and the minor illness at the other site we can actually target the professionals with the appropriate experience and skills to the right place."

The minor injuries unit will treat conditions such as cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, bites, stings, suspected fractures and minor head injuries.

'Improve outcomes'

Following assessment, patients may be advised to treat themselves, go to a pharmacist or see their GP.

Seriously ill or injured patients normally taken to hospital by ambulance will be taken to Stoke Mandeville hospital, near Aylesbury, or Wexham Park in Slough, although heart attack and stroke patients will still be treated at Wycombe.

Dr Geoff Payne, from NHS Buckinghamshire, said: "We have been working very closely with the ambulance service so they know exactly where to take patients with any given emergency condition.

"It won't put lives at risk, the whole reason for the changes is to improve outcomes for patients."

These changes to local health services are the latest developments in the plans outlined in the Better Healthcare in Bucks consultation.

The Buckinghamshire Primary Care Trust plan is designed to bring specialist teams together on single sites as it says duplication of key specialist services will not be sustainable in the future.

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