Resort’s new health centre is proving the perfect tonic

Posted on August 28, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories, Providers | Tags: , |

Dorset Echo | News | 28 August 2009

HEALTH bosses claim that the new Weymouth Community Health Centre has proved ‘highly popular’ with patients.

Staff at the privately-run unit have treated 1,000 people in the first three weeks of operation in Melcombe Avenue.

Some GPs were concerned that the centre would threaten local doctors’ surgeries when plans were first announced, but the concerns died down after it opened.

Centre operations manager Tania Shorten said: “We are seeing a real mix of treatment requests ranging from specialist bandaging, lost or forgotten medication, eye complaints, chest infections, babies with high temperatures and urine infections.

“We have recently received a thank-you card from a patient who said: ‘I just wanted to say how impressed I was with my treatment when I had cause to visit – everything seemed to go smoothly and efficiently and the staff were most helpful. I am sure the new centre will be a great success.’”

The centre is operated on behalf of the NHS by The Practice plc, a private company, for NHS patients.

The centre is based in Weymouth Community Hospital and staffed by GPs.

Patients can walk in without appointments 365 days a year from 8am to 8pm. It is open to local residents and visitors.

It offers a range of services, including health information, advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses.

These can include minor skin infections, rashes, minor eye conditions, infections, stomach upsets, coughs and cold and other common illness.

Other conditions GPs and nurses at the centre handle include asthma, wound dressing, mental health problems, alcohol and drug problems and immunisation programmes.

People can also receive emergency contraception and advice.

The 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.

NHS Dorset chairman Jacqueline Swift said: “I am delighted that the Weymouth Community Health Centre has got off to such a flying start.

“It is providing an invaluable and convenient service to the many thousands of people who visit Weymouth during the summer as well as seasonal workers and others who may not have a permanent address.

“It will certainly help to ease the pressure on local NHS services during the Olympics in 2012.”

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