Mix of appointments and walk-in services to be considered
Picture: Julia Gregory
Health bosses will be looking at whether to offer a mix of appointments and walk-in services at a centre in Parsons Green after it won a reprieve from closure.
The walk-in centre was one across the UK slated for closure under NHS England rules as it did not meet criteria to become an urgent care centre.
Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group appealed for an extension beyond the December deadline for closure however.
Managing director, Janet Cree, told a health committee that most of the work was the kind provided at GP practices elsewhere in the borough, such as wound dressing.
She said, “We will be talking with local GP practices about how this activity could be undertaken within primary care via a bookable service enabling patients to access the service at times that are convenient to them.”
She said most cases at the centre, which is nurse-led, are wound care and dressings.
Elsewhere in Hammersmith and Fulham, patients who need nurses to dress their wounds or minor ear nose and throat procedures, such as ear cleansing, go to their GP practice.
Patients in Soho are also currently campaigning about the future of their walk-in centre.
Ms Cree told Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s health, inclusion and social care policy and accountability committee that “there are no plans to change the walk-in centre.”
She said NHSE’s guidance changed which meant it had to review the services on offer at the centre.
Just 53 per cent of the patients there come from Hammersmith and Fulham and the CCG will look at that.
Save Our NHS campaigners at Parsons Green Walk in Centre (third from right) Jim Grealy
Jim Grealy from Hammersmith and Fulham Save NHS said: “If you’ve got to make a booking it’s not the same as a walk-in without an appointment.”
Conservative health spokeswoman Amanda Lloyd-Harris pointed out that some GPs have three-week waits for appointments so it could be difficult for them to “pick up the slack” in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Ms Cree said, “Several GP practices offer walk-in type services.”
She added that it was possible that Parsons Green would offer a “mixed model” of services “to meet the needs potentially ensuring we’ve still got that access”.
At weekends there are GP and nurse appointments at three hubs in the borough, although the nurse appointments are not fully booked, she said.
And patients who need urgent treatment can go to Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals and the urgent treatment centre at Chelsea Hospital, said Ms Cree.
Julia Gregory - Local Democracy Reporter
January 29, 2020