More pressure will be placed on A&E if NHS walk-in centres are closed
- 11 Nov
Monitor, the NHS regulator says that closures of 53 popular clinics could leave vulnerable people without access to GP care.
Whilst NHS walk-in clinics are hugely popular almost a quarter of them have been closed in the past three years. Many of those offered seven-day care and evening opening hours.
Health service regulator, Monitor, has said that there was a danger that closures could leave many patient without access to GP care. It is believed those hardest hit will be those unable to register with a surgery, as well as low-income working families and high-risk socially excluded groups such as homeless people, refugees and drug addicts.
Over 230 centres that offer family doctor services were set up in England between the year 2000 to 2010 so that access to care for patients who found it hard to register with a GP o were unable to get a timely appointment could be seen to.
Some of the closures seem to be due to the centres being too successful. NHS commissioning authorities that have closed walk-in centres told Monitor that the clinics triggered "unwarranted" demand among "worried well" patients for many minor conditions. Some said that they had closed centres to make savings as they could "no longer afford the convenience that walk-in centres offer," reports the Guardian.
Monitor found that almost two-thirds of patients who attended walk-in centres were already registered with a GP. Over a fifth of these said that they had contacted their GP practise beforehand but were unable to get an appointment. 24% said that they didn't bother to contact their GP as they assumed there would be no convenient appointments available.
When asked where they would go if the centre had not been available one in five said they would have gone to the nearest A&E unit, which is leading many to believe any closures will increase pressure on A&E services.
Monitors data shows that 53 walk-in centres have closed in the past three years and more are facing closure once the five-year operating contracts set up under the last government expire in 2014 and 2015.
Catherine Davies, Monitor's executive director of co-operation and competition, said: "While it is for commissioners to decide whether to keep a walk-in centre open, we need to make sure that the needs of patients are fully considered before decisions are taken."
The health minister, Lord Howe, said: "Patients should be able to access good-quality out-of-hours NHS services, without having to go to an A&E. Walk-in centres may be part of the answer, but this isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Family GPs, community services and pharmacists all have a part to play."
Monitor said some GP practices were referring patients from their own list to walk-in centres because they were unable to provide them with a speedy appointment. "This suggests some practices are using the centres to meet the needs of some patients for whom they are paid to provide primary care, rather than responding to what these patients want."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/89795
- 25 May
CARE HAS IMPROVED CONSIDERABLY IN ENGLAND
Almost three fourth of 372 care homes rated inadequate in 2014 and still operating have improved.205 care homes have improved from a low rating to requiring improvement, 68 are now rated good and 99...
- 24 May
NHS ADJUSTMENTS TO BUDGET CUTS
NHS trusts which have been previously rated good or outstanding will not be inspected as frequently as before, but those rated as inadequate will be regularly visited by the CQC.The Guardian reports...
- 19 Mar
Government to inspect if housing can reduce NHS costs
In the Budget document the government have said it's looking at the ‘cost-effectiveness of options to integrate spending around some of the most vulnerable groups of people.' This includes...
- 15 Oct
End of life patients are lacking support
The charity has found that almost 92% of NHS clinical commissioning groups do not provide round the clock telephone helplines, reports the BBC.Guidelines say there should be 24-hour telephone...
- 15 Sep
Social care is being limited due to council cuts
ADASS are warning that cuts are making the care system "unsustainable" with charities saying hundreds of thousands of people are struggling without help, even though the government says councils have...
- 17 Jul
Young people should not be placed in B&Bs says MPs
The Commons Education Select Committee has said that B&B accommodation is "threatening and frightening" and should only be used in emergency situations reports the BBC.MPs say that young people...
- 16 Jul
Special measures system designed to improve failing care homes
A scheme similar to special measures of hospitals will be introduced for care homes and home care agencies next year, ministers will say, reports the BBC.This will cover 25,000 services and could...
- 14 Jul
Research says that one in three Alzheimer's cases can be prevented
The research says that the main risk factors of Alzheimer's is lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education, reports the BBC. Alzheimer's Research UK said age was still the biggest risk...
- 10 Jul
NHS boss says those with vulnerabilities need joint health and care budget
Simon Stevens wants to see older people, those with disabilities and people with serious mental health problems given joint pots from the NHS and council-run social care services, reports the...
- 17 Jun
Council falters in reviewing autistic man’s care plan
According to Community Care:"The ruling was made by the Local Government Ombudsman after the man's mother complained that his physical and mental health deteriorated in the two-year period after...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life