Weymouth Walk-in centre opens

Posted on July 8, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: , |

The Practice | News | NHS Dorset | 8 July 2009

The new Weymouth Community Health Centre will open to patients at 8am on Monday, July 13.

The walk-in centre, based in Weymouth Community Hospital and run by GPs, offers a range of services, including health information, advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses. It will be open every day of the year from 8am to 8pm.

It can be used by anyone, whether registered with another practice or not, and there is no need to make an appointment.

NHS walk-in centres have been introduced to help people with busy lifestyles needing access to flexible and convenient health services, and those who are temporary residents or visitors to the area.

The centre is adjacent to the existing Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) in the hospital, which is open from 8am to 10pm every day. It does not replace your own GP, MIU or hospital services, but offers everyone the opportunity to see a GP at a time which is most convenient to them. Opening for 12 hours every day, including weekends, it is hoped that the new walk-in centre will help to reduce the pressure on Dorset County Hospital’s A&E department.

Both the MIU and walk-in centre operate on a first-come, first-served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention, in which case they will be seen straight away. Each service will have its own receptionist.

For minor ailments and illnesses patients should go to the walk-in centre receptionist. Examples of what will be seen at the walk-in centre include: minor illnesses, emergency contraception and advice; minor skin infections / rashes; minor eye conditions / infections, stomach upsets, coughs and colds; other common illness; asthma; wound dressing; mental health problems; alcohol & drug problems and immunisation programmes.

For minor injuries patients should go to the MIU receptionist.

For example, people with minor head injuries, wounds, strains, cuts and bruises, minor burns, bites and stings and eye injuries or needing emergency contraception (the morning after pill) will be seen at the MIU.

This walk-in centre is run on behalf of NHS Dorset by The Practice plc, a leading independent provider of healthcare services.

Jacqueline Swift, Chair of NHS Dorset, said: “The opening of this new service will be of benefit to both residents of Weymouth as well as people who do not have a permanent address.

“It will provide an invaluable service to the thousands of visitors who come to the town. In particular, it will help to ease the pressures on the local NHS before and during the Olympics.

“The centre will provide a convenient, flexible service that complements the excellent existing primary care services in the area.”

An official opening ceremony will be held in the autumn.

A handy booklet about the new walk-in centre is being distributed to households in the area during July. Anyone who does not receive a copy by the end of the month can contact NHS Dorset’s communications department on 01305 361219 or email: communications@dorset-pct.nhs.uk.

NHS Dorset is the local leader and first point of contact for NHS services in Dorset. It has a provider arm and a commissioning arm. The provider arm – Dorset Community Health Services – is responsible for community nursing, community hospitals and mental health services. The commissioning arm commissions services from healthcare providers, including GPs, dentists, pharmacies and optometrists, as well as all acute hospitals in the area.

For more information, log on to the website: www.dorset-pct.nhs.uk

The Walk-in services at Weymouth Community Health Centre are provided by The Practice plc.

For further information on this news item please contact Sarah Jeffery on 01494 690930

Contract awarded to run new Weymouth Health Centre

The Practice Plc | News | 5 January 2009

The contract to run a new walk-in health centre for Weymouth has been awarded to The Practice plc following a competitive tendering process.

The Practice is a primary care company providing innovative community-based healthcare for the NHS. Founded in 2005 by two GPs it is one of the UK’s leading providers of primary care services.

The Practice delivers clinical services for GPs, the Ministry of Defence and primary care trusts including sexual health, dermatology, urgent care, out-of-hours leadership and hospital admission avoidance as well as providing primary care in secure settings such as prisons. With a headquarters in Little Chalfont in Buckinghamshire, The Practice also operates a growing network of surgeries, delivering effective infrastructure which allows GPs to concentrate on their core skill of practising medicine.

The Weymouth contract was awarded following a competitive tendering process advertised both locally and nationally. The new centre is to be based at Weymouth Community Hospital and will give patients access to high-quality primary medical care seven days a week, complementing existing services provided by local GPs. It will open in the summer of 2009 and will:

  • offer the normal range of GP services
  • work closely with other local health services
  • be easily accessible
  • be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week
  • offer both walk-in services and appointments that can be booked ahead
  • enable patients to register with the centre, but also offer services to patients who are not registered


Andrew Morris, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Dorset, said: ‘The project is part of a national Government initiative requiring every primary care trust (PCT) in the country to provide a walk-in health centre in its area.

‘NHS Dorset’s decision to locate the centre in Weymouth will help it meet several specific needs.

‘Weymouth is the largest town for which the PCT is responsible and would most benefit from a “walk-in” facility.

‘The centre will help improve access to primary care for a range of people such as those in temporary accommodation, migrant and temporary workers (including those associated with the tourist industry), asylum seekers and homeless people. By offering a walk-in service, it will reduce the impact of tourists and visitors on primary care services for our local people, especially before and during the Olympics.’

Mr Morris said that the centre will also contribute to preventing unnecessary emergency admissions to hospital in Dorchester by helping to deliver a new range of services already planned at Weymouth Community Hospital. These are being designed to provide safe and effective assessment and care closer to home.

He added: ‘This is an exciting development for the town which will help local residents and visitors alike to access primary care more easily and will complement the excellent services already provided by our GP surgeries.

‘We look forward to working with The Practice to enhance the existing primary care services in Weymouth.’

Debbie Raven, Chief Operating Officer at The Practice, said: ‘We are delighted to have been awarded the contract and look forward to working with the healthcare community in Weymouth to ensure full integration of services. Working together will be key to the success of this project.’

For further information on this news item please contact
Sarah Jeffery on 01494 690930


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