At a meeting of the Board on Thursday 26 January 2017, it was agreed that Hywel Dda University Health Board will support the development of a Walk-In Nurse-led service at Tenby Hospital, in collaboration with Tenby GP Practice.
Following a review of a successful 10-day pilot that ran over the Easter period in 2016, the Health Board agreed to commission a Business case for a walk in service on a year-round basis to provide convenient access to a range of treatments for minor illnesses and injuries with care provided by Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs).
Advanced nurse practitioners are highly skilled health care professionals with expert knowledge and who can offer advanced care and treatment directly to patients, or refer to other appropriate services where necessary.
Whilst it has taken some time to reach this stage, it was important to ensure that the Business case went through the Health Board governance processes.
Jill Paterson, Interim Director of Commissioning, Primary Care and Therapies and Health Sciences at Hywel Dda UHB, said:
“The Health Board is pleased to announce the decision to commission this new Service in Tenby. Whilst there are some practical arrangements to address such as staff recruitment, we hope that the full service will be operational by the summer. In the interim the Health Board will put in place a service over the Easter period.
An Implementation group will be established by the Vice Chair of the Health Board, Mrs Judith Hardisty, to oversee the implementation of the Walk–in service, and ensure that timescales are met.
During the 10-day Easter pilot in 2016, which was open 10am-6pm, a total of 180 patients were seen. Treatment and care was provided to 142 of those patients within the service itself, 31 were referred for follow-up with their own GP or practice nurse, three needed further investigations, two patients did not wait to be seen and two were referred to be seen in secondary care (hospital based services). Most of those attending were local residents, with a smaller number of visitors.
The most common presentations were for infections and inflammation or for pain management, all of which are well within the capability of Nurse Practitioners.
During the pilot, the ongoing community pharmacy Triage and Treat scheme, which offers a minor injury assessment and treatment service from participating pharmacies, was also running.
The Health Board will be commissioning a Third Sector Provider to provide this First Aid Service in Tenby once again at Easter whilst the year-round service is established. More information about the Easter service will be shared by the Health Board closer to the time.
For the latest news and updates from Hywel Dda University Health Board visit www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk