North West NHS Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (NWCATS) was formerly Greater Manchester NHS Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service and was initially commissioned by all the Greater Manchester Primary Care Trusts at that time. The service was unique and the first of its kind, providing assessment, diagnostics and treatment in mobile clinical units which travelled to various locations across Greater Manchester, some of which we continue to visit today.
The service was designed to provide rapid access to community-based services, which were convenient and accessible to the local community. The service supported and reduced the demand at the local hospitals by providing primary care assessment and treatment without the need for patients to attend the hospital when hospital treatment was not required.
The service has evolved overtime and contracts changed to meet the demand and changes with the local healthcare economy. NWCATS now provides MSK, physio, ENT and gastroenterology services, as well as mobile clinical units in car parks, GP practices, leisure centres and hospices.
NWCATS was acquired by InHealth in January 2017 and since this time, we have set up the service at new locations including Hodgson Street Car Park, Trinity House Macclesfield, University Stadium Macron and Conran Medical Practice. During this time, we have received over 580,000 referrals and 140,000 appointments, including MSK, ENT, Physiotherapy, Endoscopy and Diagnostic scans.
Here are some comments from the staff who have been with NWCATS throughout the last 10 years…
“When we first started we were fighting over arriving patients as we may only have had 10 a day if lucky. Now we are sometimes looking at 200 + a day so just shows how the service has grown”. Marcia, Administrator
“I remember my first day with the service like it was yesterday, I initially started with the Service as Lead Gynaecology Nurse and remember being extremely anxious about leaving the NHS and starting to work for the Independent Sector and whether I had done the right thing and if the contract would last. I cannot believe I have now been working here for 10 years as it has passed so quickly. I am really proud that throughout the 10 years within the service and irrespective of the service structure, for those working within NWCATS, at the core centre of everything that we do, is ‘doing the right thing for the patient’.” Janet, Lead Cancer Nurse & Triage Team Manager
“Throughout the 10 years the service has continued to evolve to adapt to the needs of the patients and local community…it’s been fun with the occasional games!” Joanne, ENT Specialist Nurse