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First patient – Georgia Barton and Julie Silcock with Shirley Waterman.

Health centre introduces appointments for intravenous therapy

People in Ormskirk are set to benefit from more convenient access to a health service which keeps them out of hospital and living independently, thanks to a  partnership between the NHS and local community services provider Virgin Care.

West Lancashire Urgent Care and Walk-in Centreis now providing appointments for intravenous therapy which is making it quicker and more convenient for people to receive their treatment.

Intravenous (IV) therapy is used to treat infections more effectively than oral antibiotics.

Shirley Waterman from Lathom was the first person to receive the treatment at the Virgin Care centre based in Ormskirk General District Hospital.

Shirley, aged 64, requires IV therapy each day, so being taken to the health centre by her daughter, Donna Massan, is proving to be a more convenient and faster solution than waiting in for a home visit.

Donna, 45, from Skelmersdale, said, “I recommend this treatment at the West Lancashire Health Centre 110 per cent. It is an absolutely fantastic service – Mum was seen immediately and our appointment was done and dusted within an hour! I can’t thank the team there enough – we would highly recommend other patients to use this service.

“Last year, I had to use the home visit service for outpatient antimicrobial therapy. Although the service was good, I didn’t know what time the nurse would arrive – you just knew a nurse was coming that day. This approach is much better and I would highly recommend other patients to use this brilliant new service.”

At the health centre the team is able to treat more than one patient at a time and this faster treatment means they are more likely to make a quicker recovery and avoid being re-admitted into hospital. It’s also beneficial for patients to meet others going through the same treatment so they can provide peer support to one another.

Home visits are still available for people who can’t or don’t want to travel.

Doctor John Caine, West Lancashire GP and chair of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group who have been partnering with Virgin Care to deliver community services locally since 2017 said, “This new approach to administering IV therapy will prove incredibly beneficial for patients in West Lancashire.

“By bringing patients to a specialist centre, it not only means that we reduce hospital admissions, freeing up beds in the process, but also means that we can treat more patients and quicker, by treating them within a dedicated clinic.

IV lead nurse, Julie Silcock, from Virgin Care’s West Lancashire Adult Community and Urgent Care Services,  added, “We had a very successful start to our clinic in February. Shirley was very happy to be our first patient and said that our colleagues were very helpful and accommodating.”

Notes to editors

Patients who require IV therapy are likely to have an infection such as respiratory infections, bone abscesses or cellulitis, which is a type of skin infection. The therapy is a more effective way of reducing the level of infection as opposed to taking oral antibiotics.

The new service for West Lancashire is being paid for from within the existing funding for the West Lancashire Adult Communityand Urgent Care Services. The additional service has been made possible because Virgin Care has re-invested the savings the services are making as a result of transformations over the last two years – including introducing a care co-ordination centre to make it easier for local people and GPs to ask for help, and relocating most of the community services teams to a purpose-designed centre at Bickerstaffe House.

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