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Urgent Treatment Centre opens at Watford General Hospital

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) has launched a new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Watford General Hospital which will be located in the Emergency Department and will operate from 8am to 2am, 7 days a week including bank holidays.

The newly designated Urgent Treatment Centre will be staffed by experienced GPs and nurses and other healthcare practitioners who treat minor injuries and illnesses with an urgent need.

The UTC will offer appointments that can be booked through NHS 111 or on a ‘walk in’ basis giving local patients more convenient ways to access urgent care when they need it most. This is welcome news as the Minor Injuries Unit at St Albans City Hospital continues to remain temporarily closed while we manage our ongoing response to the pandemic.

One of our main priorities at this time is to keep patients and staff safe, so our COVID-19 restrictions will apply at the new UTC. From Monday 15 June, those patients going to hospital for an appointment will need to wear appropriate face coverings, should following good hand hygiene and social distancing and cannot be accompanied unless they are a child who needs an adult with them or they have other special needs.

The new service will be managed by Greenbrook Healthcare who are a specialist provider of GP led services and manage high performing UTCs across London including Northwick Park, West Middlesex, Central Middlesex, Ealing and Hillingdon Hospitals.

Dr Rachel Hoey, Divisional Director Emergency Medicine said “A Urgent Treatment Centre at Watford General Hospital will enable patients to get the right care, in the right place and at the right time. It will allow our staff to give our sickest patients priority as well as providing the best care for other urgent patients.”

Walk-in services are also available 7 days a week with a UTC situated at Hemel Hempstead Hospital, open from 8am-10pm and a Minor Injuries Unit at St Albans City Hospital open from 9am-8pm.

Anyone who isn’t sure where to go for a particular problem should go online to 111.nhs.uk or call 111 if you're unable to get help online, for free for advice before you travel. Local NHS111 advisors will also be able to tell you about waiting times at particular centres. Patients who think they have symptoms of coronavirus should seek advice from NHS111 and should not go to the UTC or to any other health facility such as a GP surgery.

Watch this short animation and read our FAQ to find out more about urgent treatment centres and how they fit in the urgent and emergency care system.

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