STAFF at Hartlepool’s new urgent care centre are to be given extra training to make sure patients are directed to the right place.
Reception staff at the One Life Hartlepool centre, in the town’s Park Road, will receive one day of training next month to improve the overall level of service for the public.
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The Hartlepool Mail has carried several stories since the £20m centre opened earlier this year, featuring disgruntled patients who had either been directed elsewhere only to be later told to return.
Others were not happy with the treatment they were given once they were in the building.
It is hoped that the new training will wipe out any confusion over the level of treatment and services available within the state-of-the art centre.
Julie Gillon, director of operations at Hartlepool and North Tees Foundation Trust, said: “Given the areas of concern raised, we have decided to concentrate further customer service training to make sure they understand their impact on the patient and can offer assistance.”
The centre includes a 24-hour minor injuries unit following the closure of the A&E department at the university Hospital of Hartlepool.
It also includes GP and nurse-led services and an out-of-hours GP service run by the primary care trust, NHS Hartlepool.
Paul Garvin, chairman of the hospital trust, said: “Where a member of the public comes into the urgent care centre, because we have got three separate providers there, has always been the risk they could fall in between the three.
“I’m really pleased the trust is working with the PCT.
“We have picked up the leadership role in helping them along the way so patients know what services to expect.”
A patient satisfaction survey of the minor injuries unit carried out by the trust shortly after it opened found 94 per cent found the reception process was efficient.
And all said the reception staff were polite and friendly and they were treated with dignity.
Trust papers stated: “Significant support and development had been given to all staff and ongoing development was being carried out in respect of customer service training to ensure patients were sign posted correctly and staff were able to diffuse situations successfully and also support the team development.”