A new partnership began on 1st May to run the Bath-based, and newly-named, Urgent Treatment 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) was chosen as the preferred bidder for the centre last year, following a rigorous procurement process led by B&NES Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Urgent Treatment Centre, formerly known as the Urgent Care Centre (UCC), 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.

The RUH-BEMS partnership has worked closely with colleagues from B&NES Doctors Urgent Care (BDUC), who ran the former UCC, to ensure the smooth transfer of the service.

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

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 UTC.”

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 UTC. I believe that our partnership with the RUH will allow us to deliver a high quality, more integrated and patient-focused service.

“We welcome staff to our partnership in the Urgent Treatment Centre, and look forward to developing the service with them and the public we serve in the coming months and years.”