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Doesn’t all this mean extra travel – what has been put in place?
Improving the clinical quality of our services does mean that we can’t continue to provide all services on both main hospital sites and this does mean some extra travelling between our hospital sites (a distance of 14 miles). Since May of 2007 there has been a free bus running daily between Burnley and Blackburn hospitals, this service is free to patients, relatives and staff. We are planning to extend the running hours of this service and will continue to develop this service in response to demand. We are also working closely with local authorities and bus companies to further extend bus services between the two sites.

NOV 07

Healthcare in East Lancashire is changing
Important information
• If you have a medical emergency - call 999 and ask for the ambulance service. • If you have an urgent but less serious injury or illness you can attend one of two new Urgent Care Centres on the Burnley and Blackburn Hospital sites. • GP services - no change, use these services as you do now. • For medical advice contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk. • For general enquiries about the changes contact 0845 6099866 or www.eastlancs.nhs.uk
Please note – the Putting Healthcare 1st Advice Line and the NHS Direct Enquiry service are not designed to be able to tell you what's wrong with you or to diagnose medical conditions.
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It is vital that everyone understands that, although some important changes are taking place on 1st November, generally you should continue to use health services in the way you currently do. Indeed the vast majority of day case, outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests will continue to take place on both the Burnley and Blackburn hospital sites.

Upon request, information contained in this leaflet will be made available in alternative languages and formats, including large print and audio.

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NOV 07

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE NHS

November 1st – Putting Patient Safety First
We want to explain the changes that are taking place on 1st November 2007 to improve the quality of hospital services in our area and how they affect you. These changes follow public consultation through the Meeting Patients’ Needs process. All of these changes have been designed by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to make sure we can deliver the highest quality care for patients, both now and in the future.

An artists impression of part of the £27million investment in the healthcare at al Burnley Gener spital Ho

So what is changing?
On November 1st Royal Blackburn Hospital becomes the new centre for emergency care in East Lancashire. This will help ensure all cases of severe injury/illness can be seen quickly by senior doctors and specialists with access to state-of-the-art diagnostic testing. This means from 1st November, ‘blue light’ emergency ambulances will go to the new Emergency Department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital (instead of the Accident and Emergency departments at both Burnley General and Royal Blackburn Hospitals).

There will be two new 24-hour / 7-day-a-week Urgent Care Centres for urgent but less serious injuries and illnesses at both Burnley General and Royal Blackburn Hospitals (on Burnley site in the location of the current A&E - on the Blackburn site next to the current A&E). We anticipate that the Urgent Care Centre on our Burnley site will be able to deal with 9 out of 10 of the patients that they see at present. These changes are supported by three additional ambulances to make sure patients who need to come to Blackburn get there quickly and to make sure their treatment begins as soon as the ambulance arrives. There will also be a new helipad at the Emergency Department on the Royal Blackburn Hospital site. As part of this change, emergency and complex surgery will also be based at Royal Blackburn Hospital. This is surgery that requires the ‘back-up’ of intensive care facilities. (We have made sure we have the facilities available to transfer patients from the Burnley area back to Burnley General Hospital for their post operative recovery period as early as possible after their surgery). Key things to remember: • The GP service is not changing. Use these services as before both inside and outside of normal hours or ring NHS Direct. • If you need an emergency ambulance ring 999 as before and they will assess you and if appropriate begin your treatment and get you to the right place fast. • If your medical condition is urgent but you don’t need an emergency ambulance go to your nearest Urgent Care Centre – you will be assessed on arrival and if you do need to be treated in the Emergency Department you will be quickly transferred there.

What about emergencies involving children?
If you think your child is seriously ill call 999 and ask for the ambulance service or bring them to the new Emergency Department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Children with less serious injuries or illnesses can be taken to the new 24-hour/7-day-a-week Urgent Care Centres at both the Burnley General Hospital and Royal Blackburn Hospital sites. When appropriate patients should contact their GP in the first instance or ring NHS Direct. Key thing to remember: • From 1st November children with severe injuries or illnesses will be brought by emergency ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital Emergency Department.

What about planned surgery?
Both the Burnley and Blackburn hospitals will continue to carry out planned surgery (surgery you have discussed in an outpatient clinic). Burnley General Hospital will gradually become the main centre for planned surgery. This will help ensure that planned surgery is not cancelled because of more urgent emergency cases and will allow us to develop a really high quality dedicated centre for planned surgery at the Burnley site. This change is backed by a £27million investment on the Burnley General Hospital site which includes investment in new operating theatres. Key things to remember • Some patients who may previously have had their planned surgery in Blackburn may need to travel to Burnley General Hospital in the future. If this is the case you will be informed well in advance of your surgery so that you can arrange to get there. • Day case surgery will continue at both sites (Burnley and Blackburn).