centres are due to be set up around the country, which will bring the
total number to 64.
investment package announced in July.
More NHS walk-in centres will be developed over the next two years,
which will be part of the government's commitment set out in the
recent Command Paper on extending patient choice - Building on the
Best- to allow commuters access to primary care services near to
their workplace. An additional£10m is being made available to
support this initiative.
NHS walk-in centres provide quick access to advice and treatment for
minor ailments and injuries. No appointment is necessary and there
have been more than four million visits to the 42 centres already open
The new centres will be set up in the following areas:
Barking and Dagenham
Some of the existing sites are already starting to provide additional
services such as prescribing by nurses and access to GP services. For
example the Manchester centre will be providing a satellite service
in Wytheshaw town centre in the New Year.
Mr Hutton said:
'The development of the walk-in centres offers patients more choice
and more convenient access to services. This is particularly true for
people who commute to work and who find it difficult to go to the GP
during working hours. The Walk-In Centres give people the flexibility
to be able to receive treatment at a time and a place that is
convenient for them.
'This is just one of the ways that we are making access to primary
care easier. In Building on the Best we set out plans to provide
other new primary care services such as nurse-led clinics and
allowing commuters to register with a GP nea r their place of work,
instead of home. All of this will help to make the NHS truly
patient-centred and fair for all.'
The NHS Plan promises that by December 2004 all patients should be
seen by a GP within two working days or by a primary care
professional in one day. All A&E patients should be seen within four
hours. 93% of patients are now able to see a GP within two working
days and 90% of patients wait less than four hours in A&E.
The£40m of capital is to be invested as follows:£20m in 2003/4
and£10m in each of the next two years.