Skip to main content

One year of the Urgent Treatment Centre

Today marks one year since the first patient was treated in the new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). During the last 12 months, that patient has been joined by over 63,600 others who have attended the UTC – resulting in one of the busiest periods for urgent and emergency care that the Trust has ever seen.

Despite this demand, the over 60-strong UTC team, alongside colleagues across all urgent and emergency care services, have provided exceptional quality care to every patient who has needed it.

They’ve been working in new and innovative ways to help address the increase in attendances, including introducing a Clinical Navigator role to help triage patients to the right place for their care and working collaboratively across UTC and the Emergency Department.

They’ve also been looking at ways to make the environment more positive for patients, such as working with a charity to provide 200 books and sensory play equipment to the children’s waiting area. 

What it’s like to work in the UTC

Ingrid Sanchez, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, has been working in the Clinical Navigator role over the last 12 months.

She said: “We do a brief but assertive assessment on every patient as soon as they arrive to the department, which determines the best department for their health needs and allows us to streamline them accordingly.

“We also help patients on arrival; if they are very unwell, we can activate the emergency protocol straight away. We can sit patients on a wheelchair and transfer them to the appropriate place when needed - I have even got people out of their cars with leg fractures before.

“We have had a few episodes in which unconscious patients have been brought up by relatives in the car. This always prompts a quick team response and we’ve all gone to help safely transfer the patient to a trolley and moved them directly to ED.

“The navigator is also there to overlook the waiting area. Patients who may start to feel worse or need anything during their wait at UTC usually approach the navigator who can re-assess them and escalate them if appropriate, or deal with their request.

“It can get very busy when the waiting time is long, but patients often appreciate that they get to speak to a highly trained practitioner as soon as they walk through the door.”

Next phase of the urgent and emergency care development

Construction has already started on the next phase of the urgent and emergency care development, which will see a brand new Emergency Department.

The urgent and emergency care development, which is a £31.8million build, will help right-size the organisation for the growing population of Swindon and Wiltshire.

This new emergency ‘front door’ will also have a new Children’s Emergency Unit, which will combine the current Children’s Emergency Department and Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU).

All of these services will also link directly with the new Urgent Treatment Centre, so that patients can easily move between services to receive the right care depending on their clinical needs.

Moving some services from other areas of the hospital, such as the Paediatric Assessment Unit currently located on the second floor, to the ground floor will also free up space for more clinical activity or inpatient beds.

The construction is expected to be completed by summer 2024.

Arrow Icon Tell us if you need extra support

If you have a disability, sensory loss, impairment, or if English is not your first language, we can help you access information about our services.

Arrow Icon Give us your feedback

It's important for us to know when we've provided a good service or if something needs to improve.

Arrow Icon Report a problem with this page

If you notice something wrong with this web page, please contact us at and we'll put it right.

Back to top