GP-led health centres

Are NHS walk-in centres on the way out?

Posted on June 29, 2012. Filed under: Closure, GP consortia, GP-led health centres |

By Brian WheelerPolitical reporter, BBC News | 28 June 2012

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Walk-in centres are rapidly becoming a casualty of the tougher financial climate in the NHS in England.

The centres – which treat minor ailments without an appointment – were a flagship policy of the previous Labour government.

They are popular with patients but critics say they’re not cost-effective.

Figures suggest a quarter have closed in the past year but the government say the services they offered have not been cut.

The centres were meant to relieve pressure on A&E departments by providing easy access to treatment for minor ailments.

The government says these services are still available when the centres are relocated to hospitals – but critics say patients have to join long queues at A&E or make an appointment rather than simply being able to walk in off the street and see a nurse or doctor.

The Department of Health says it does not have data on how many walk-in centres have been closed, but analysis of weekly NHS hospital activity statistics show there were 75 non-hospital providers of emergency care in June 2012, which could also include urgent care units.

That is 26 fewer than in the same month last year – a reduction of 25%.

‘Not being cut’

Health Minister Simon Burns said: “More people than ever are being treated in these units, almost 20,000 more compared to last year.

“Some of these services have recently been taken over by hospital trusts, whilst others have been integrated into local urgent care services, so while the number of organisations might appear to have fallen, this has not affected access to urgent care services, in fact people using them has increased.”

Labour MP Gloria De Piero, earlier this month asked Prime Minister David Cameron why the “popular” walk-in centre in her Ashfield constituency and “similar walk-in centres are closing all over the country”.

NHS Victoria walk-in centre
The Victoria walk in centre in London closed in December

Mr Cameron said it was “certainly not because the money in the NHS is being cut, because it is not being cut” but decisions need to be “taken locally” about how “money in the NHS is spent to deliver better health outcomes”.

The Department of Health said the Ashfield walk-in centre – one of two to be closed in Nottinghamshire – has been replaced by a 24-hour unit at the nearby King’s Mill hospital.

But – in a letter to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley – Ms De Piero says people in need of primary care services now “either have to first present themselves at A&E or make an appointment” and “no longer had the ability to walk-in directly”.

‘Successful’

Walk-in centres have been closing down across England for the past two years. Among those to go in recent weeks is a facility in Tooting, in South London, which has been incorporated into the A&E department at nearby St George’s hospital.

“The relocation next to the minor injuries section within A&E is designed to help deliver care to patients in the most appropriate place and improve patient experience,” the hospital said.

A privately-run centre in Victoria, central London closed its doors in December. It was commissioned by the Department of Health but when its five year contract ran out the local Primary Care Trust decided not to keep it open, to save money.

Walk-in centres were used by more than three million people last year and they “have proved to be a successful complementary service to traditional GP and A&E services”, according to the NHS Choices website.

But the Department of Health says they are not a “nationally mandated” policy and GP commissioning groups will be free to shut them down when they take over from Primary Care Trusts as part of the government’s NHS shake-up.

Critics of walk-in centres say they have failed to relieve pressure on A&E services in the way Labour planned and that the cost of treating each patient has gone up from an average of £36 in 2008-09 to £39 in 2010-11.

But patient groups say they remain highly popular with those that use them.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Despite the many promises of patients having choice within the NHS, this is yet another example of having those very choices removed in the name of efficiency savings.

“Walk-in-centres provide a vital function for those who are unable to access their GPs, due to excessive waits and those who do not want to bother the already heavily burdened A&E staff.

“Our helpline regularly hears from callers who have had a range of issues with GPs and hospitals, but we hear almost universally about just how popular walk-in-centres are.”

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Darzi centre gets stay of execution after PCT found in breach of competition rules

Posted on February 1, 2012. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

An under threat Darzi centre has been given a stay of execution, after the NHS competition watchdog ruled that PCT bosses breached conflict of interest rules by enlisting GPs with ‘vested interests’ –  including the local CCG chair – to lead a consultation on the centre’s possible closure.

The Cooperation and Competition Panel ruled that NHS Peterborough’s consultation recommending the closure of the Alma Road surgery fell foul of conflict of interest rules.

The CCP ruled that the PCT had acted inappropriately by involving two GPs with links to surgeries and urgent care services that could benefit from the centre’s closure to act as ‘lead clinicians’ for the consultation.

The case was brought after 3 Well Medical, the GP-led limited company that runs the Darzi centre, alleged that Dr Mike Caskey, chair of NHS Peterborough’s GP commissioning committee and Dr Harshad Mistry, NHS Peterborough’s urgent care commissioning lead, had ‘vested financial interests in the closure of Alma Road’, as their own local practices could benefit from the change.

The CCP report stated: ‘The commissioner’s actions were not consistent with the Principles and Rules [of competition] because of the involvement of two lead clinicians in the commissioner’s consultation process that had associations with primary and/or urgent care providers that would be directly affected by and might gain from the consultation process.’

But the CCP said NHS Peterborough ‘did not appear to discriminate’ against Alma Road, and found it’s consultation did not restrict patient choice.

The watchdog is set to recommend to health secretary Andrew Lansley that an independent body of clinicians review the consultation responses. Mr Lansley will decide how to act on the CCP’s advice in mid-February at the earliest.

Dr Sushil Jathanna, chief executive at NHS Peterborough and NHS Cambridgeshire said the PCT ‘supported’ the CCP’s recommendation that the consultation was reviewed by independent clinicians.

He said: ‘We have reflected on the processes and feel that we managed potential conflicts of interest appropriately, but accept that the CCP has recommended we work further to engage independent clinicians outside the Peterborough area to provide further assurance.’

‘It is important to state that we do not believe that there has been any actual conflict of interest and that the clinicians we involved in answering questions from the public have not profited in any way from this process and no evidence was found to the contrary. The PCT drew on their expertise as local clinicians in helping explain how systems work. They were not involved in developing the proposals, nor would they have been involved in making final decisions about the consultation.’

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Langbaurgh NHS Medical Centre moves to state-of-the-art Coatham Health Village

Posted on January 27, 2012. Filed under: GP-led health centres | Tags: |

Assura Medical | January 27, 2012

Langbaurgh NHS Medical Centre, a GP and nurse-led health service based in the Redcar Primary Care Hospital on West Dyke Road is due to relocate later next month.

The service, which is provided by Assura Stockton, is moving to the state-of-the-art Coatham Health Village on Coatham Road on Monday 20 February 2012. It will join existing services including the Coatham Road Surgery which moved into the health village recently.

Patients will still be able to see a nurse or doctor without an appointment from 8am to 7pm weekdays and from 1.15pm to 5pm at weekends. Unregistered patients may book same day emergency appointments if they are unable to make an appointment with their own GP and new patients are welcome to register if they wish to.

As well as increasing access to GP services, the Langbaurgh NHS Medical Centre provides patients with greater choice to receive advice and treatment for a wide range of minor injuries and illnesses.

The move has long been planned. Ever since it opened in late 2009 the Redcar Primary Care Hospital was a temporary located until a new permanent location became available in the purpose built Coatham Health Village.

Dr Mark Hulyer, a local GP and chair of Assura Stockton, said: “We are delighted to be moving into the state-of-the-art Coatham Health Village on West Dyke Road. The Redcar Primary Care Hospital has always been a temporary location for us and we are looking forward to moving to our new home next month.

“Langbaurgh NHS Medical Centre offers patients high quality, easy and convenient access to a GP or nurse when they need it from 8am to 7pm during the week and from 1.15pm to 5pm at weekends. We also offer emergency appointments to unregistered patients who are unable to get an appointment with their own GP and are open to new patients wishing to register with us.”

Langbaurgh NHS Medical Centre
Coatham Health Village
Coatham Road
Redcar
TS10 1SR

Opening times: 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday
1.15pm to 5pm Weekends
www.langbaurghnhsmedicalcentre.nhs.uk
Tel: 01642 511 722

ENDS

Press enquiries:
Russell Elliott, Assura Stockton LLP. Tel: 020 7380 1794
www.assurastockton.co.uk

Notes to editors

  • Assura Stockton is a partnership between seven local GP practices and leading healthcare provider Assura Medical. It also operates the Stockton NHS Healthcare Centre and Sexual Health Teesside which provides sexual health advice, treatment and education across the whole of Teesside.

Assura Medical are wholly owned by Virgin Healthcare, which is part of the Virgin Group – http://www.assuramedical.co.uk/our-people/

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NHS walk-in centre in heart of city set to close this month

Posted on November 24, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

Yorkshire Post |Published on Thursday 24 November 2011 06:00

A WALK-IN centre for NHS patients in Leeds is set to close this month as part of moves to save cash.

The Department of Health has decided not to renew a contract for the walk-in centre in the Light shopping centre in Leeds which opened five years ago and yesterday it was announced that it will now close at the end of November.

Last night NHS Leeds said the Department of Health did not intend to continue delivering services from commuter walk-in centres and this means the Leeds centre will close. Centres in Manchester, Newcastle and London have already been axed.

It will shutdown on November 30 and is the latest service in West Yorkshire to be hit by cuts. Already opening hours have been cut at other centres in Halifax, Todmorden and Dewsbury.

The surgeries were set up to give patients quick access to GPs.

The walk-in centre in Leeds opened under a national Department of Health programme to improve care to commuters which is being axed to save money. Only a fifth of its users were commuters, with most of the remainder registered with practices in Leeds.

In an earlier report, NHS Leeds said nearly 300 people had responded to an exercise asking for public views on the closure. Most said they would instead go to their own GP in future although many used the walk-in service because they found it difficult getting a convenient appointment.

Officials said the findings would be fed into a review of urgent care services and shared with GPs to help drive service development.

A survey by the Yorkshire Post last year found half the access centres in the region were seeing at least double the number of walk-in patients expected.

Last night Philomena Corrigan, director of delivery and service transformation for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said: “The centre was commissioned by the Department of Health to have a focus on commuters, but only 22 per cent of users in the year October 2009 to September 2010 were categorised as commuters.

“Our Clinical Commissioning Executive (CCE), whose membership includes local GP commissioners, agreed that the most appropriate course of action is to ensure that the needs of patients are met within the rest of the services provided in Leeds.“

To assist this process NHS Leeds conducted a twelve-week consultation; including sending out 30,000 leaflets, to find out where Leeds residents would like to receive appropriate care once the Commuter Walk-in Centre has closed.

Health bosses claim that since the centre opened in 2005 there have been significant improvements to local health services in Leeds include: promoting the West Yorkshire Urgent Care Services telephone service, 0345 605 99 99 that people with an unexpected health problem can call to be assessed quickly and directed to the most appropriate service.

The Shakespeare Medical Practice, a walk-in centre, has also been developed, there have been extended opening hours provided at the city’s two minor injury units – St George’s Centre Minor Injuries Unit, Middleton Leeds and Wharfedale Minor Injuries Unit, Newall Carr Road, Otley and some GP practices in Leeds are providing evening and weekend appointments.

The GP practice in The Light is unaffected by the closure and is welcoming new registrations, as are all other GP practices within the city. People can contact West Yorkshire Central Services Agency on 0113 295 2500 or visit http://www.nhs.uk if they would like further information about which GP practice you can register with.

Walk-in services were designed for patients with minor ailments to take pressure off A&E and for those with urgent problems who were unable to get a quick appointment with their own practice who could then register with the surgery for future appointments.

joanne.ginley@ypn.co.uk

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Protected: NHS Haringey’s 8am-8pm GP-led health centre

Posted on November 18, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

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Darzi centre providers paid compensation for early closure

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

Exclusive PCTs have begun paying out undisclosed figures in compensation for the early termination of Darzi centre contracts, as more centres across England close their doors due to financial pressures, Pulse can reveal.

One trust has admitted shelling out compensation to a provider after terminating their GP-led health centre contract ahead of time, while others are refusing to disclose whether or not they paying off providers after cancelling their contracts.

Another PCT told Pulse it was re-procuring its contract to reduce daytime walk-in hours in response to low demand.

The investigation shows the centres – rolled out in every PCT under the directive of former Labour health minister Lord Ara Darzi – but branded expensive white elephants by GP leaders – are increasingly being targeted for closure as cash-strapped PCTs try to bring their finances under control.

Of 68 PCTs to provide information to Pulse on the contractual status of their Darzi centre, more than one in eight (13%) have either terminated their contract or are planning to imminently, with many others renegotiating deals for financial reasons.

NHS Stockport revealed that it had paid out-of-hours provider Mastercall – the provider for its Darzi centre that was the first to close its doors last year due to duplication of service – had been paid compensation after the contract was terminated ahead of time, but refused to disclose financial details.

A spokeswoman said: ‘The contract holder has been compensated in accordance with contractual terms. Termination costs are confidential between NHS Stockport and our provider.’

Among those which refused to disclose whether they had shelled out compensation was NHS Barnsley, which recently closed its Darzi centre run by private firm Primecare due to over-use of its walk-in service. ‘The termination agreement between the two parties is confidential,’ said a spokesman.

NHS Sandwell, which is due to terminate its contract in December 2011, refused to disclose whether it paid compensation to Kent-based provider Malling Health, saying: ‘We believe the release of this information would prejudice our ability as a trust to operate contracts appropriately.’

NHS Calderdale said it was re-procuring its Darzi centre contract after ‘mutual agreement to terminate’ with private provider Care UK. A PCT spokeswoman said: ‘We have re-negotiated the contract to reduce the hours of the walk-in service only and this was in response to low demand at certain times of the day.’

Dr Nigel Watson, chair of the GPC commissioning and service development subcommittee, and a GP in the New Forest, said: ‘My understanding is there would need to be compensation paid if a contract is terminated early. It’s a really good example of central directive wasting money at a local level.’

Dr John Pickard, chair of the Plymouth subcommittee of Devon LMC, and a GP in Plymouth, where the PCT closed its Darzi centre in February this year, said it was ‘a luxury we couldn’t afford’. ‘I don’t know if they were given compensation but I would be concerned if they were – in these cash strapped times, we can’t afford it.’

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘We predicted this scenario of the Darzi centres being superfluous to need. It clearly reiterates the huge waste of money. It seems a tragedy that so much has been invested, only to find contracts are being terminated.’

 

PCTs which have terminated or plan to terminate Darzi centre contracts

 

1.      Stockport

2.      Plymouth

3.      Barnsley

4.      Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale

5.      Calderdale

6.      Northamptonshire

7.      Salford

8.      Sandwell

9.      Peterborough

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NHS walk-in centre to close and hours to be cut at another

Posted on September 27, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

Yorkshire Post |Published on Tuesday 27 September 2011 06:00

A WALK-IN centre for NHS patients in Yorkshire is set to close and the hours of another will be cut under moves to save cash.

The Department of Health decided early this year not to renew a contract for the walk-in centre in the Light shopping centre in Leeds which opened five years ago.

Health bosses in Leeds will tomorrow discuss a survey detailing public reaction to the shutdown after reaching agreement no alternative services will be opened following the closure at the end of November.

In a separate move, NHS bosses will today agree to cut the hours at the walk-in centre in Barkerend, Bradford, which was the first to open under a national flagship Labour initiative to improve access to GP services.

The surgery will be the latest in the region to see hours reduced. Already the walk-in service in Barnsley has been closed and opening hours have been cut at other centres in Halifax, Todmorden and Dewsbury.

The walk-in centre in Leeds opened under a national Department of Health programme to improve care to commuters which is being axed to save money. Only a fifth of its users were commuters, with most of the remainder registered with practices in Leeds.

In a report, NHS Leeds said nearly 300 people had responded to an exercise asking for public views on the closure. Most said they would instead go to their own GP in future although many used the walk-in service because they found it difficult getting a convenient appointment.

Officials said the findings would be fed into a review of urgent care services and shared with GPs to help drive service development.

In Bradford, officials are expected to agree to cut the morning opening hours of the Hillside Bridge centre which has seen demand four times that expected, with 23,500 people using it in 2009-10, significantly driving up costs.

The centre was designed for the most deprived people in the area but checks showed few were using it. More than a third of walk-in patients were those at other GP practices, some of whom were seeking a second opinion, leaving the NHS to pay double for the same service.

A public consultation found patients using the service said it was because there were no appointments at their own practice, they needed help outside normal working hours or because it was more convenient, claiming they would instead go to A&E at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

A survey by the Yorkshire Post last year found half the access centres in the region were seeing at least double the number of walk-in patients expected, with the surgery in Bridlington seeing a seven-fold increase.

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PCT holds consultation on closing GP practices

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

PCT holds consultation on closing GP practices | GPonline.com.

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Exclusive: Darzi centre paid 7 times more per patient than GP practices

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Exclusive: Darzi centre paid 7 times more per patient than GP practices | GPonline.com.

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Flagship Darzi centre faces closure

Posted on August 23, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

The flagship Darzi centre hailed by former health secretary Alan Johnson as ‘the future of general practice’ is set to have its opening hours drastically cut and could even face closure after a PCT admitted it was too expensive to continue running in its current form.

The Hillside Bridge Health centre in Bradford was the first of Lord Ara Darzi’s controversial 8am until 8pm GP-led health centres to open as part of the then Labour Government’s nationwide rollout back in December 2008.

But NHS Bradford and Airedale is now consulting on the future of the centre after it found that the majority of patients using it were already registered elsewhere, creating an expensive duplication of services.

The PCT revealed some patients were even using the service for a second opinion, after they have already seen their own GP, and admitted there was ‘no evidence that people’s overall health has improved as a result of using the walk-in service’.

A consultation which concludes at the end of August is asking patients for their views on the future of the centre.

It reads: ‘What we have found is that most patients who are using Hillside Bridge GP-led Health Centre are already registered with another local GP in the area.’

‘Some are using the service because they say they cannot get appointments with their own GP. Some are even using the service because they want a second opinion, after they have already seen their own GP.’

The consultation paper urges patients to see their own GP rather than use the centre. It says: ‘We believe that the most appropriate service for patients to use, when they have a minor illness, is their own GP.’

‘Your own GP has your medical records available to them, and they know you and your health better.’

‘Your own GP is also contracted to provide urgent care, if you should need it, from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays. But the high number of people using Hillside Bridge, who already have a GP, means we are effectively double paying for this service.

It suggests reducing the opening hours for non-registered patients to 12:00pm – 8:00pm seven days a week or 2:00pm – 8:00pm seven days a week.

The trust said any changes to opening hours would be an interim measure, and pledged to review the service in six months time, and subsequently carry out a wider public consultation to assess the viability of all urgent care services in the area.

It said many more users than expected were using the service, but it was not providing value for money. It added: ‘Unfortunately the service is rarely being used by the most socially excluded members of the community and there is no evidence that people’s overall health has improved as a result of using the walk-in service.’

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Planning approval secured for new health centre in Knowsley

Posted on August 12, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Knowsley Council 

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Hillside Bridge GP-led Health Centre Consultation

Posted on August 8, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Bradford & District Community Empowerment Network | 8 Aug 2011

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Protected: Wirral GP-led health centre

Posted on August 1, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

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Redbridge ‘super-surgeries’ plan on hold

Posted on July 22, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Polyclinics |

London 24 | by Tim Dickens, Reporter | Friday, July 22, 2011 

Despite the “great success” of the 20,000 capacity Loxford Polyclinic in Ilford Lane, Ilford – which nearly 17,000 people have registered to use in just over two years – plans for more polyclinics have been put on hold.

The brakes have been put on the plans while health minister Andrew Lansley decides on the future of the Health for North East London programme of changes, which include the proposed closure of the borough’s only A&E department.

In 2008, health bosses declared plans for a polyclinic on the site of King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, that would ease pressure on its A&E.

But the future of any GP and urgent care at the Goodmayes site hangs in the balance as part of the wider review to be considered by Mr Lansley from tomorrow (Friday).

A spokesman for Outer North East London NHS (ONEL) said: “Under the current NHS reforms it is now GPs, not politicians, who must take the lead in deciding which services are provided locally, taking on board the views of their patients and other stakeholders.”

Opened by Lord Darzi in April 2009, Loxford’s clinic was the first purpose-built polyclinic in London and a recent patient survey revealed 90 per cent of patients rated the service as good, very good or excellent.

Polyclinics include GP and outpatient services, minor operation and urgent care clinics.

The ONEL spokesman said: “This doesn’t mean that no new health centres or other facilities will be built going forward – just that we await the decision on the Health for North East London plans before GP consortia can reassess the picture locally.”

A decision on the future of King George Hospital’s A&E and labour ward is expected from Mr Lansley later this year.

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EXCLUSIVE – Patients shun ‘wasteful’ Darzi centres | GPonline.com

Posted on July 12, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

http://www.gponline.com/channel/news/article/1078318/exclusive-patients-shun-wasteful-darzi-centres/

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Swathes of Darzi centres could be closed in NHS efficiency drive

Posted on July 12, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

http://www.gponline.com/channel/news/article/1079335/swathes-darzi-centres-closed-nhs-efficiency-drive/

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Debate on NHS closures – Alma Road

Posted on June 18, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

A PATIENT liaison officer at a health centre spoke out against a panel of NHS chiefs considering its closure.

Amy Fry, who works at the Alma Road NHS Primary Care Centre, spoke passionately about its role for the Millfield community at the Central and North Neighbourhood Committee meeting on Thursday.

She spoke to the gathering at the Gladstone Park Community Centre after hearing representatives from NHS Peterborough discussing health options for the city, which include the permanent closure of the centre in Alma Road.

Ms Fry said: “The board has not done its research in this area.

“There is a high population density here – on some addresses we have up to 10 people living in a property.

“That is not taken into account and the people here need this surgery.”

NHS Peterborough was represented at the meeting by Peter Wightman, interim director for primary care, and Dr Mike Caskey, GP commissioning lead.

They discussed plans to switch to a system with fewer but larger health facilities across the city.

Dr Steve Watson, who runs a surgery in Lincoln Road, told the meeting he believes his surgery could absorb Alma Road’s 2,000 patients.

He said: “We have 11,250 patients – we could keep up with anything Alma Road does but they could not keep up with ours.

“If nothing changes we will not see the next decade in. We have problems with the building.”

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The Light: NHS Leeds walk in centre to close

Posted on June 16, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres | Tags: |

Yorkshire Evening Post | By Katie Baldwin
Published on Thursday 16 June 2011 07:22

A WALK-in centre tailored to provide NHS health care to commuters in Leeds city centre is to shut – because it wasn’t used by enough of them.

The facility at The Light shopping centre on the Headrow will close later this year after the Government decided not to renew the contract of the company running it.

Six commuter walk-in centres, run by private firms providing NHS care, opened across the country between 2005 and 2007 – four are now shut.

The Leeds centre, operated by BMI Healthcare, opened in 2007. It will close when its contract runs out in November. It was open every weekday and aimed at those working in the city centre but figures showed only 22 per cent of users were actually commuters.

NHS Leeds bosses said a panel of experts, including GPs, had agreed to ensure there were enough healthcare services available elsewhere following its closure.

Philomena Corrigan, executive director of strategy and commissioning at NHS Leeds, said the contract for the centre was with the Department of Health but NHS Leeds managed it.

“The Department of Health does not intend to continue delivering services from commuter walk-in centres and this means the Leeds centre will close on November 30. The walk-in centre was commissioned to have a focus on commuters but they have not been the primary users.

“In fact, only 22 per cent of users in the year October 2009 to September 2010 were categorised as commuters with the other 78 per cent of users being from the local area.”

She added that since the centre opened, other services had expanded, including the creation of West Yorkshire Urgent Care Services, a walk-in centre and GP practice at Burmantofts Health Centre had opened and opening hours had been extended at other NHS walk-in centres at Middleton and Wharfedale Hospital in Otley as well as at some GP surgeries.

There is also a GP practice in the Light which is run separately and will be unaffected.

A patient watchdog group said it was important to ensure there were adequate health services.

Maureen Idle, of Leeds Hospital Alert, said: “Although we were opposed to private providers in the health service, if they are shutting the centre and even a small number of people have been using it, what are they putting in place for them?”

A Department of Health spokesman confirmed they were no longer contracting services from any commuter walk-in centres – based in London, Manchester and Newcastle as well as Leeds – apart from possibly one in the capital.

The spokesman said: “The Government is moving away from the type of contract that ties the NHS into spending money unnecessarily. Any decision to re-let a contract for such a centre is entirely a matter for local commissioners.”

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New home for walk-in centre

Posted on May 23, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Peterlee Mail | Published on Monday 23 May 2011 14:00

PATIENTS will be able to use a state-of-the-art medical centre after a walk-in centre was relocated.

The walk-in centre in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, allows people to see a doctor or nurse between 8am-8pm seven days a week, without the need for an appointment.

As from today, the service is now based at One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road.

The move will join existing services which include four GP practices, an out-of-hours service and dentistry and pharmacy services.

Patients will still be able to see a nurse or doctor without an appointment from 8am to 8pm every day, including bank holidays.

Patients do not need to register to use the service and can access the service while still remaining registered with their current family doctor.

As well as increasing access to GP services, the Hartlepool NHS Healthcare Centre, run by Assura Hartlepool, provides patients with greater choice to receive advice and treatment for a wide range of minor injuries and illnesses.

One Life Hartlepool, run by Hartlepool NHS Healthcare Centre, was opened in 2009 as part of NHS Hartlepool’s programme to increase access to local family health services.

Dr John Howe, a local GP and board member of Assura Hartlepool, said: “We are delighted to be moving into the state-of-the-art One Life Hartlepool on Park Road where we will be at the heart of a range of local services.

“Hartlepool NHS Healthcare Centre provides patients in Hartlepool with high quality, easy and convenient access from 8am to 8pm to a GP or nurse when they need it.

“Patients can walk in when they choose and do not need to be registered to use our service.”

Ali Wilson, director of commissioning and systems development for NHS Hartlepool, said: “NHS Hartlepool is delighted to be working in conjunction with Assura Hartlepool in planning for the next steps in providing a one stop NHS urgent care facility, ensuring that patients have access to high quality care.

“The move is another piece in the Momentum:Pathways to Healthcare Programme and will see local urgent care services provided from a single building, One Life Hartlepool.”

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It’s Official – The Junction Health Centre is Now Open – NHS Wandsworth

Posted on March 16, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

It’s Official – The Junction Health Centre is Now Open – NHS Wandsworth.

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