Felixstowe residents are being given an opportunity to discuss changes to the way the town’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is accessed at two public drop-in sessions next week.
New NHS England guidelines mean that from April 1, 2019, people will no longer be able to walk into the MIU without first making an appointment.
However, it will still be possible for people to arrange same-day treatment via their local GP practice or NHS111.
Richard Watson, NHS Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group’s Deputy Chief Officer, said he hoped local residents would attend the drop-in sessions.
“NHS England wants to standardise access to all the various urgent treatment centres, drop-in centres and minor injury units across the country.
“In order to continue operating walk-in facilities each of these centres have to meet 27 strict criteria, but Felixstowe MIU only meets nine of them.
“At locations where these criteria cannot be met NHS England wants walk-in functions to be replaced by a GP-led ‘hub’-style model where patients’ needs can be assessed and they can be signposted to local services appropriately.
“People in Felixstowe will still be able to receive treatment at the MIU on the same day, but from April 1 they will have to make an appointment via their GP surgery or NHS 111 in the usual way.
“As part of introducing this necessary change we are looking at proposals to provide enhanced services for the frail elderly in the town with input from existing local health and social care teams to provide further integration of the services already based at Felixstowe Community Hospital.”
The drop-in sessions will take place at His Lordship’s Library in the Orwell Hotel, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe IP11 7DX on Monday 3rd December from 6pm to 9pm and Friday 7th December from 9am to 12noon.