Doors open for area’s walk-in health centre

Posted on December 3, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , |

Middleton Guardian | NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale | 3 December 2009

A REVOLUTIONARY health centre has opened its doors in Middleton and promises to provide a unique service for residents.

Located on the first floor of Middleton Shopping Centre, Middleton Health Centre is the only place in the borough where people can walk in and see a doctor with or without an appointment.

NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale have provided the funding for the project following an in-depth consultation with residents on what services they would prefer in the town and extra provisions for children and families came top of the list.

The vibrant, spacious and colourful centre is fully equipped with the latest medical equipment and includes features such as a conference room for staff training and a dedicated area in the waiting room for breastfeeding.

Practice Manager Vicky Matthews said: “We’ve had a large amount of interest already with people looking through the windows and asking when we’re opening. I’ve lived in Middleton all of my life and think the health centre is just what the town needs and has wanted for some time.”

The centre has three main treatment rooms and five consultancy rooms and a 20-strong team of dedicated staff will be available, and there will be more potential to generate further jobs in the future.

With the recent closure of Booth Hall Children’s Hospital and with it the Accident and Emergency department, the new centre will provide vital urgent care for children and the centre will open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

Laura Neilson, Chief Executive of Hope Citadel Healthcare, the company which provides services at the centre, said: “As well as providing all of the usual GP services like appointments, prescriptions and tests, we will have a focus on services that will support children and families.”

The NHS’ plan was to bring more doctors to Middleton to places where they are needed the most and the location of the centre, in the heart of the town, makes it extremely accessible for residents.

John Pierce, chairman of NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, said: “The Middleton Health Centre helps people to see a doctor when they need to and will hopefully decrease the number of patients who go to A and E when they don’t have to.”

It has been a long two-year process from planning and consultation and now staff are excited and ready to open the health facility to patients.

Chair of the Middleton Township Peter Williams said: “The health centre is absolutely fantastic for Middleton. I am really impressed with the quality of the premises and the range of services that are on offer and it will help more people to see a doctor when they need to.”

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