In preparation for the major developments taking place across Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust, a significant publicity campaign is now underway.

Under the reconfiguration of services, 1st February 2006 will see a new NHS Walk-in Centre open at Ashford Hospital, as all emergency medical care transfers to St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.

An information leaflet detailing these important changes is now being distributed to some 187,000 households within the Hospital Trust’s catchment area. In addition, further supplies of the leaflet are being delivered to local organisations for public display, such as GP surgeries, pharmacists, dentists, libraries, sports and leisure centres, local railway stations, supermarkets and so on. The leaflet gives details about the new NHS Walk-in Centre and the kind of treatment available and how this differs from an Accident and Emergency Department. The leaflet also folds out into a small poster, giving further details on where and how to ‘get the right treatment’.

A series of brightly coloured hoardings and banners have also been put up outside Ashford Hospital to further reinforce the message. Copies of the information leaflet can be obtained by calling 01932 722163 or by logging on to our website at www.ashfordstpeters.nhs.uk.

Project Director at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals, Sylvia Meakin commented: ‘Clearly these are significant developments that are taking place, and it is essential that we communicate the right message to our local population. Getting the right treatment is extremely important and although the new NHS Walk-in Centre at Ashford will be able to treat around 85% of those who currently attend the Ashford Emergency Department, when emergency care transfers to St. Peter’s Hospital, our population need to know that in the case of an emergency they should either dial 999 or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department - at St. Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey or West Middlesex Hospital, Isleworth.’

Ms Meakin added: ‘These changes will ensure that patients have increased access to specialist services. St. Peter‘s Hospital will be able to offer immediate specialist care for emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes, with a much wider range of specialist treatment available by concentrating these services at one hospital. Ashford Hospital has an exciting future as a centre for the majority of our day surgery, orthopaedic surgery and as a centre of excellence for rehabilitation. Our outpatient services will continue as now, ensuring that Ashford remains a focal point within the local community.’

Staff at both hospitals have been working enormously hard in preparing for the changes and to ensure the new facilities at both St. Peter’s and at Ashford open on time. Chief Executive Glenn Douglas added: ‘We have been incredibly impressed at how hard our staff at both hospitals have been working in preparation for these changes. We have already made several ward moves and have seen considerable building work taking place at both sites. Patient care has never been compromised, and has continued seamlessly throughout. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work both now and in the weeks ahead as these developments come to fruition.’

 

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