A FOUR week trial which will see GPs treat some patients who arrive at Colchester's A&E department has been agreed.

The trial, which will see some patients with non-urgent ailments and injuries treated by GPs rather than A&E medics, could form the precursor to a permanent Urgent Care Centre at Colchester General Hospital.

The centre, which would not be opened until next year at the earliest, would see patients who do not require immediate care diverted to either GPs or other departments for more suitable treatment.

With the A&E department becoming busier every year, health bosses are encouraging people to visit the nearby walk-in centre or calling NHS 111.

The trial was agreed by Colchester Hospitals Trust and North East Essex clinical commissioning group last week. 

A commissioning group spokesman said:"We are working very closely with Colchester Hospital currently to help them work through the pressures they have in treating and discharging patients efficiently to allow the A&E department to work smoothly."