Frinton Clock Tower - Photograph by Chris Davies (www.essexeyes.co.uk)

A New Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC)

Summary of an article from the Harwich and Manningtree Standard (July 2019)

The UTC is to replace the existing Walk-in Centre at Colchester Hospital in October.

It will be opening at Colchester Hospital's main entrance and will be GP led. It will be open for 12 hours every day and people will be able to book an appointment through dialling 111, or being referred by their GP.

The redevelopment plans will have more consulting rooms and eventually include a relatives' waiting area.

The new UTC will treat problems such as:

Other Centres

An additional UTC is planned for Clacton and the Minor Injuries Unit at Fryatt Hospital, Harwich will continue as it is now.

Contacting a Medical Practice

New extended hours allow patients to book appointments in the evenings, or at the weekend, to see a GP, practice nurse, or other health professional with a range of slots available.

Additionally, patients can now get advice from a GP, or practice nurse, over the telephone, or online.

It is hoped that all these services will free up the emergency teams to offer care and support to the patients who are in most need of their help and expertise.

Making an appointment at Caradoc Surgery

Advice from Neil Churcher (Chairman) - Caradoc Patient Participating Group (PPG)

As we all know, it is not easy to get to see a GP, so you might like to bear in mind that you can also now book an appointment with the Advanced Nurse Practitioner, or the new Clinical Pharmacist, who can both deal with a large number of problems.

Response times

The 30 lines are absolutely full between 08:00 am and 10:30 am, so it's not easy to get through, but when we do, the response times are improving. In the last week in June:

Seeing your GP

When we get to see a GP, we only get about nine or ten minutes to explain our problem to a person who is seeing about 6 patients an hour. The GP will probably will not remember our history and will need time to look it up on our notes. Therefore, it saves time if we can give them a quick precis of our concerns, symptoms and relevant history.

Be honest, there's little point in seeking advice if the Doctor doesn't have all the details. Making a note beforehand of these, plus how long we have had the symptoms, can be useful to ensure we don't forget anything in the heat of the moment.

We also need to be really honest about our concerns and must ask for clarification if we aren't really sure about what's been said. It's our appointment, for our benefit. We also don't want to be interrupted by our phones, so they should be switched off, or on 'silent'.

If the Doctor says they want to see you again, make sure they either enter it on your computer record, or give you a slip of paper saying so. You can then take this to Reception and make another appointment. The rules are, that under these circumstances, you don't have to phone in again!