Walk-In Centre to close – Stockport PCT

Posted on October 27, 2010. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

Welcome to Stockport PCT.

NHS Stockport’s 8-to-8 Walk-In Centre is to close during GP opening hours to encourage people to see their own doctor and save the health service £800,000.

It will close its doors as a drop in clinic from the end of September but the Out of Hours service, running from 6.30pm until 8am each day and all day at the weekends and bank holidays, will continue.

The centre was set up last October to offer all patients more choice and to provide a drop in clinic for people who don’t have access to a GP, as part of the National Equitable Access to Primary Care scheme.

It was hoped that the centre would also help reduce the number of people turning up at Stepping Hill’s A&E for non emergency treatment.

However the latest figures show that three times as many people as expected are using the Walk-In Centre and almost all are registered with a local GP.

At the same time, the number of people attending A&E has also gone up by around 5% so costs for unscheduled care have risen to an unaffordable level.

NHS Stockport Chief Executive Richard Popplewell said “Most patients use the Walk-In Centre during the day when they could be seen by their own GP, creating a costly duplication of services.

“In these financially challenging times, though we would like to offer this choice to patients, we cannot justify the amount we are spending on this overlap in provision.

“We appreciate that this is a popular service but we hope the people of Stockport understand why we’ve had to make this difficult decision.”

The increased demand on the health service and the unprecedented financial climate has resulted in NHS Stockport needing to find over £20m worth of savings this year alone.

It’s urging people to think about when and where they get treatment if they’re unwell with the NHS Choose Well campaign.

Pharmacists, who are highly trained health professionals, are a great place to get advice for many minor ailments as is the health advice service NHS Direct which can be accessed by phone or via the internet.

If you do need to see a doctor the best choice for you is to see your own GP. They get to know you and your family and with that knowledge can make the best diagnosis for you.

Most practices now offer early morning or late evening surgeries on selected days and over half are open at least one Saturday a month.

If you’re unsure about the extended hours that your doctor offers please check with your practice.



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