New health centre to open on Christmas Day

Posted on November 29, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories | Tags: |

Islington Gazette | 29 November 2009

A NEW health centre for Islington will open 365 days a year.

People will not need to register or book an appointment to see a doctor at the new GP-led health centre, which will see patients until 8pm seven days a week.

The centre, which is expected to open in March 2010, will be located alongside the current Ritchie Street Health Centre in Ritchie Street, Islington.

There had been fears that NHS Islington bosses would award the centre’s contract to a private company.

But they have awarded it to Angel Medical Services (AMS) Ltd, a new company that has been set up by a group of doctors at the Ritchie Street Health Centre specifically to run the centre.

This is unlike neighbouring Camden, where health chiefs decided to award its GP-led health centre’s contract to private company Care UK.

Dr Sunil Limaye, managing director of AMS Ltd, said: “We look forward to improving access to health care for members of our community and congratulate NHS Islington in its decision, allowing us to run this contract from within the NHS.”

The GP-led health centre in Ritchie Road, which will even be open on Christmas Day, will see both registered locals and walk-in patients.

The idea is to take pressure off nearby accident and emergency departments and to also cater for commuters who find it difficult to see a doctor within working hours. Helen Pettersen, deputy chief executive of NHS Islington, said: “At NHS Islington we have heard the voice of residents regarding accessibility of services.

“The GP-led health centre in Islington will provide a wide range of health services in a place where they are needed and, most importantly, at times when they are needed.”

The Department of Health is providing funding to help each primary care trust open a new GP-led health centre in its area.

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