Actor Hugh Bonneville celebrated the official opening of Petersfield’s Urgent Treatment Centre – and also its one-year anniversary – with staff at the centre in Swan Street.

The service originally opened during the back end of the pandemic in 2021 as a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU).

Head of operations Sarah Woodman said: “In 2020 there was a national requirement for MIUs to become urgent treatment centres so they could see and treat people with minor illnesses as well as minor injuries.”

In its first year, the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) has grown from 30 patients a day to an average 80 patients a day presenting a variety of illness and injuries.

Sarah added: “In the midst of the pandemic, the team worked quickly to move the MIU from its original small home in the middle of the Petersfield Community Hospital to the front of the hospital.

“There it took over the outpatients’ unit and health education room to provide more treatment rooms, a larger reception area and a dedicated resuscitation suite.

“Clinical lead Emily Trembath and service lead Paul Fisher were appointed, and GP leadership was provided from our colleagues at The Swan Surgery next door.”

Hugh Bonneville, known for his roles in Downton Abbey and the Paddington films, added: “Since opening last year it has provided a vital service.

“Congratulations to everyone involved on their continued commitment and dedication to the UTC which, in turn, helps alleviate the pressure on the emergency services in the area.”

The future for Petersfield UTC will see even closer working with the other Urgent Treatment Centres in Gosport and Portsmouth, primary care teams and the local emergency departments to help people needing emergency, urgent or same-day treatment to get to the right place, first time for the help they need.

Clinical lead Emily Trembath added: “It’s been a nice opportunity to celebrate everything we have done over the past year.

“It’s had its ups and down but overridingly the staff we have working with us have pulled together to make sure we can see and treat as many people as possible. “

“We are thrilled to have this facility in Petersfield Community Hospital as it is a great service for people in the local area.

“We look forward to continuing to grow and develop and further improve working closely with colleagues in primary care, 111 and the hospitals.”

A patient at the centre said: “It was a very quick and efficient service with a smile. We didn’t have to wait long and I was able to wait with my son and support him.

“Please continue to keep this amazing service going strong. It’s such an important part of the community and gives piece of mind.”

Another added: “I had to attend the unit for a swollen eye.

“The staff are very friendly, constantly smiling and making you feel welcome. The whole atmosphere gives you a calm, relaxed feeling.

“The nurse who treated me was very reassuring and caring while listening to me.”

The UTC is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm all year round, and one of its main priorities is to prevent people with minor injury or illness going to emergency departments at local hospitals, freeing up hospital staff to see the more life-threatening and complex conditions.

For details and how to access the service, visit the website at https://www.