Consultation launched on future of Walk-in-Centre
PATIENTS are being encouraged to share their views on a proposed future model for urgent, non-emergency care – focusing on working towards offering extended access to GP services, seven days a week.
NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group has today launched a public consultation with patients and stakeholders around replacing services at Lincoln’s Walk-in-Centre with extended hours in alternative GP surgeries, an enhanced NHS 111 service and supporting people to self-manage their health conditions.
Following a review of the service, evidence suggests most of the users at the Monks Road site are either students and/or patients registered with Lincoln city centre medical practices. Research indicates 95 per cent of Lincoln Walk-in-Centre users required no investigation or treatment, or received minor treatment for minor ailments. The latter includes help for minor illnesses such as a cold, headache or conjunctivitis – which could be treated using over the counter medicines from pharmacies.
Proposed are these following alternatives:
- Convenient student access to GP practices close to Lincoln College and Lincoln University. This will include Skype consultations and drop-in opportunities.
- Same day access to GP services for children – where clinically appropriate.
- Same day access for more urgent cases.
- Working towards seven day GP services – via a hub of several practices.
- Enhanced NHS 111 service. Talk before you walk by calling NHS 111 for medical advice where you need medical guidance fast but it is not an emergency.
- Continued promotion of self-care tips around minor illnesses like colds, conjunctivitis, headaches and diarrhoea.
- Utilisation of local pharmacies for simple health and care advice.
- Out of hours GP service.
Wendy Martin, executive lead nurse, midwife and quality at NHS Lincolnshire West CCG, said: “These proposals focus on ensuring patients are seen in the right place, at the right time and by the right people.
“We want to simplify services, reduce duplication and ensure the free-to-call NHS 111 is used to access urgent care services.
“Our services must change to reflect the growing demands of our local population and be in line with Government policy which says that seven-day access to a GP for routine appointments must be in place within the next three years. This links to the GP Forward View document.
“We must reduce duplication and for this reason we cannot offer extended access to routine GP services every day during the week and also sustain the Lincoln Walk-in-Centre. So it is proposed we close the Walk-in-Centre and focus on primary care.
“Walk-in centres create demand for care for self-limiting, minor conditions and evidence suggests resources would be better spent on other priorities.
“We completely understand replacing the Walk-in-Centre may disappoint some people but we are confident our proposals to improve access to GP services, with our GPs working more closely together, we can ensure people have access to a GP when they need one. Similar steps have already been taken in other parts of the country.
“NHS Lincolnshire West CCG remains committed to ensuring patients can continue to access good quality health services.
“It is vitally important we capture views before a formal decision is made by the CCG and I would encourage people to have their say.”
The consultation will run for eight weeks from Monday, June 12 until Sunday, August 6 with people wishing to have their thoughts heard able to do so in the following ways:
- Three drop-in events at Abbey Access Training Centre, Monks Road, Lincoln, LN2 5HU. They will be held on June 27 (11am-1pm), June 28 (3pm-5pm) and June 29 (7pm-9pm).
- By filling in our online survey at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/wic-consultation
- By emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or you can write to us here: NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, Cross O’Cliff, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, LN4 2HN.
Patients can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0845 602 4384 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. PALS provides confidential advice and support to patients, carers and relatives and can help with providing information about other surgeries people can register with.