AN Urgent Care Centre will open at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital this December.

After speaking to apoplectic residents about the centre, promised by health bosses last year, Redditch MP Rachel Maclean launched a petition calling on the CCG to bring forward plans for the implementation of the GP-led service.

More than 1,000 residents signed the petition which Mrs Maclean presented to the House of Commons in May.

This new service was said to be key to the proposed model of acute services at the Alex after paediatric care was centralised to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The GP-led centre will work alongside A&E at the Alex, and will treat adults and children with minor or moderate illnesses and injuries.

The MP, who recently met Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG’s accountable officer, Simon Trickett, and chief operating officer, Mari Gay, said the opening of this new service will not result in the further downgrading of the hospital’s A&E.

She said: “Finally the CGG has confirmed when the Urgent Care Centre will open at the Alex. I’ve been calling for this new service to open for months now, so I very much welcome the CCG’s announcement.

“The Alex has continued to treat children brought by ambulance during the period there has been no A&E provision, so no child has been put at risk through lack of an emergency response during this period. The staff have been trained to assess and treat under 16s brought to their doors, in addition to paramedics and ambulance staff being able to treat patients.

“The Urgent Care Centre will provide parents with peace of mind that their children can still be treated at the Alex, which is currently the case at the moment. I hope this new service will also reduce pressures on A&E as it will provide residents with a real alternative to Accident and Emergency.

The centre will be staffed by a GP and an advanced nurse practitioner.

It will open from noon until 9pm, seven days a week.