Visitors to the Trafford Centre on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February had the chance to see the new Mobile Clinical Units that are now offering patients in the region faster access to a range of minor treatments.
The mobile clinical units were open to the public in one of the Trafford Centre car parks for the whole weekend and Care UK staff supplied shoppers with information in the busy bandstand area of the food court, both of which attracted a huge amount of interest.
The new services, known as Greater Manchester NHS CATS (Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services) and operated by Care UK, are now available in six locations across Greater Manchester, including Salford, Longsight, Denton, Stretford, Rochdale and Bolton – with a service starting in the Spring in Oldham.
The purpose-built units are part of a £172 million pound investment over a seven year period that aims to bring down waiting times for NHS treatment even further and so tackle some of the health inequalities people in Greater Manchester face.
Trevor Purt, Chief Executive of NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT, said: “The Greater Manchester NHS CATS is great news for the North West. It will mean patients have access to shorter waiting times and more treatment centres closer to their homes, as part of enhancing the overall patient experience. We want to make sure that anyone needing NHS treatment can get the best care possible as quickly as possible and the introduction of the new service is an important part of this.”
Treatment is available to suit the greater convenience of patients because of longer opening hours, with appointments available from Monday through to Saturday from 7.45am to 8pm. Patients will normally be seen by a Consultant and will be able to have most of the diagnostic tests they need, as well as some minor treatments, for example treatment for orthopaedic complaints, general surgery and treatment for ear, nose and throat problems.
Mark Hunt, Managing Director of CARE UK, explains: “The service has been up and running since early February and already we have had a tremendous response from patients. The event at the Trafford Centre meant that even more local people could get a feel for what Greater Manchester NHS CATS is about and how they and their friends and family in the area can benefit from quicker, more convenient access to treatment.”
The CATS programme has already created over 100 jobs in the Manchester area and this is expected to increase to over 160 in the next few months. This includes Consultants, receptionists, administration and call centre staff.
Patients can make an appointment to be seen in one of the Mobile Clinical Units by being referred by their GP. For more information, visit the website www.greater-manchester-cats.com or telephone 0333 200 4042.