Bolton Walk in Centre to Close

Date: 
Wed, 20/06/2012

Closing the Walk In Centre

Following a review into urgent care services, Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the GP-led organisation taking over from NHS Bolton, has decided to close the walk-in centre at Lever Chambers.

Most patients visiting the walk-in centre do so during hours when they could be seen by their own GP practice, or could have sought advice from a pharmacy. Of the people seen at the walk-in centre, almost half are told to get additional care from their GP and more than 2,000 a year are sent on to Accident and Emergency.

As part of this review into urgent care, Bolton CCG engaged with the public and patients last summer to understand why and how people use services. In November 2011, Bolton CCG and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust launched a consultation with the public, GPs and their partners to understand the impact changing services would have on them.

People have said they found the current system confusing, did not know where to go for different types of illnesses, and often contacted services that turned out not to be the best service for them.

Closing the centre will help simplify and improve urgent care services in Bolton as people have told the CCG so many different choices causes confusion, and possible risk.

The walk-in centre is scheduled to close on 31 July. The qualified nurses from the walk-in centre will boost current staff numbers at A&E in order to help relieve the pressure there. The new service will combine the expertise of nurses and doctors, as well as therapists.

Make the right choice

A large public awareness campaign has begun which will reduce the level of uncertainty among the public, and help people to access the right care, at the right place, at the right time.

 It will inform people if they cannot self care with the support of local pharmacies, their first contact should be with their GP.

Market research showed that the public were confused about what was the correct choice for them to make regarding their health, while GPs have asked that we support them to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to Accident and Emergency, and ensure that the people of Bolton are getting the best care available.

The ongoing campaign aims to educate the public to make the right care choice for their injury or illness, to enable them to get the right care, at the right place, at the right time.

For many people, Accident and Emergency can seem like the best place to go for any condition, but often people can get more appropriate care from other services.

The campaign will help the public to find out more about what their GP or pharmacist can do for them, why they are best placed to help, and how to find them.

Please visit www.boltonhealthchoices.com for more information on these changes