5,000 people call in to new health centre

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , |

Worcester News | David Paine | NHS Worcestershire | 2 December 2009

NEARLY 5,000 people have used a new walk-in health centre in Worcester since it opened in the summer.

There are also about 500 people registered at the centre in Farrier House, Farrier Street.

Paul Bates, chief executive of NHS Worcestershire, said a real cross-section of people were using the facilities and said the feedback had been good so far.

“The reports coming back from the public have been glowing,” he told a county health overview and scrutiny committee.

“The service is not under pressure yet, so it can provide a very good service.

“It’s pretty much the same experience across the country with walk-in centres. They are not taking people away from other surgeries and we are discovering a whole new cohort of presentations.”

Mr Bates said he visited the centre recently and saw a young mother, young men, an elderly man and a homeless man all in the waiting room.

We previously reported in your Worcester News how the new walk-in centre, which opened in August, is designed to improve access to healthcare in the city centre without patients having to book an appointment.

NHS Worcestershire – the organisation that manages the work of doctors, dentists and community hospitals – will pay GPs £1 million a year to run the service.

The organisation previously paid £750,000 for the building and refurbishment work for the new surgery, which is on the ground floor.

That money includes the cost of work to prepare the first floor to host future services, including sexual health workers, physiotherapy and dental care.

The centre means anyone can access GP appointments without having to be registered. The centre is run by Elgar Healthcare – a consortium of local GPs – who were announced as NHS Worcestershire’s preferred bidder in December 2008.

As well as providing all the usual GP services for Worcestershire people, the centre is also focusing on improving access to those who tend to access services poorly.

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