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FURTHER EXPANSION TO WALK-IN NHS CENTRES

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Health minister John Hutton today announced that 11 new NHS walk-in ...
Health minister John Hutton today announced that 11 new NHS walk-in

centres are due to be set up around the country, which will bring the

total number to 64.

The new centres are being funded from the three year£40m

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

since 2000.

The new centres will be set up in the following areas:

Brighton

Lewisham

Darlington

Barking and Dagenham

Skelmersdale

Colchester

Huntingdon

Prestwich

Salford

Gateshead

Sunderland

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.

Note

The£40m of capital is to be invested as follows:£20m in 2003/4

and£10m in each of the next two years.

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