A new partnership is to run the Bath-based Urgent Care Centre – the unit at the RUH for patients who urgently need to see a GP or nurse but whose condition is not life-threatening.

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and partner B&NES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS), have been chosen as the preferred bidder for the centre.

The announcement follows a rigorous procurement process led by B&NES Clinical Commissioning Group. The RUH-BEMS partnership will run the UCC from Tuesday, 1st May 2018. It will be working closely with colleagues from B&NES Doctors Urgent Care (BDUC), who currently run the Urgent Care Centre, over the next few months to ensure the smooth transfer of the service.

BEMS is the local GP Federation, whose members include all General Practices in B&NES, as well as patients and staff. BEMS has been providing care for local patients since 2004 across a range of community services, including GP out of hours.

The Urgent Care Centre offers urgent treatment around the clock to patients who cannot wait to be seen by their local GP or are not registered with a local practice. It opened in Spring 2014 and is located next to the Emergency Department at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Dr Dominic Williamson, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the RUH, said: “We’re really pleased, we have an exciting vision for the future of the service and we’re confident we can further improve the way that urgent care is delivered for our patients. We’ve involved patients, clinicians and management teams in our plan and drawn on extensive experience of the needs of our local population to bring together the best of primary and secondary care in the UCC.”

Dr Andrew Smith, Chief Executive of BEMS and a local GP, said: “I’m delighted that we have been given the opportunity to run the UCC. I believe that our partnership with the RUH will allow us to deliver a high quality, more integrated and patient-focused service. We welcome the staff already working in the Urgent Care Centre to our partnership, and look forward to developing the service with them and the public we serve in the coming months and years.”