Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Newcastle To Get Commuter Walk-In NHS Centre

An NHS commuter walk-in centre is to open at Newcastle Central station, offering busy patients the chance to see a doctor or nurse on their way to work. The Newcastle-based centre will be one of seven new centres to open in the coming months as part of a £50million make-over of services outside hospitals.

The first two stations – located near London Liverpool Street and Manchester Piccadilly stations – will be opened today by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt. The new centres, which are run by independent healthcare firms and offer a range of services including treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, prescriptions and healthcare advice, are free to NHS patients. There also will be no need for patients to make an appointment and the opening times are from 7am to 7pm.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said: “The public has told us that they want faster, more convenient NHS services. Many banks and supermarkets are now open round the clock - the NHS needs to move to match people’s expectations for extended opening hours. “New commuter centres, like those in London and Manchester, are a step towards meeting the needs of today’s patients, as they will offer advice and treatment outside of GPs’ traditional opening times, right on the doorstep of many people’s workplace. “We will be exploring further possibilities, such as extending opening hours of existing GP surgeries, as part of the forthcoming white paper.”

The service will be led by experienced nurse practitioners, supported by GPs and practice nurses. The centres expect to see around 150-180 people every day, amounting to around 43,000 patients per year. The Manchester and London Liverpool Street centres will be followed by further centres at London Canary Wharf, London Kings Cross, London Victoria, Leeds City Station and Newcastle Central Station.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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