Health bosses hit back at Norwich walk-in centre claims

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Norwich Evening News | Sarah Hall | 22 December 2009

Health bosses have hit back at claims that the new walk-in centre in Norwich city centre has not met expectations.

As reported in the Evening News on Saturday, concerns have been raised that the Timber Hill Health Centre is not seeing as many patients as the walk in centre in Dussindale, Thorpe St Andrew, it controversially replaced.

Last month just over 4,000 people visited the new walk-in centre, which opened in August.

Dr Bryan Heap, NHS Norfolk’s medical director, said: “We envisaged about 15,000 ‘walk-in’ patients would have used the centre by now. In fact it has seen about 17,000 patients.”

He said from April 2007 to April 2008 there were 42,436 patient contacts at the Dussindale centre. If the Timber Hill Health Centre continues to attract 17,000 patients per quarter, it would have had about 68,000 contacts, he said.

Dr Heap added: “It is not ‘failing to deliver;. It is doing precisely what we envisaged it would. It has increased the number of walk-in patients seen at the former walk-in centre at Dussindale; it has provided GP and primary care to people who are traditionally harder to reach and it has ensured more equal access to health care for the people of Norwich and the surrounding area.

“The success of Timber Hill Health Centre cannot just be judged by attendance figures alone. Timber Hill Health Centre was established to provide equitable access to healthcare. Importantly, there are now more people attending from the target postcode areas NR1 and NR3 than Dussindale. These areas contain more deprived households than other areas.”

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