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Planning Retirement Online

Walk-in Centres

                              September 2006

NHS Walk-in Centres offer fast and convenient access to a range of primary care services, including health information, advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses (coughs, colds, infections) and minor injuries (strains, sprains, cuts). They do not replace local GP or hospital services but complement them.

  • They supplement general practice and A&E departments in providing more patients with faster access to primary care services and to treatment for minor ailments and injuries.
  • The centres are run by experienced nurses, and there is no need to make an appointment.
  • Most NHS Walk-in Centres are open seven days a week, early until late, 365 days a year.
  • As well as providing a core service, the centres are helping to improve access for specific groups with particular needs, including young people, homeless people, students, refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Walk-in Centres have treated over 5 million people since they were introduced in 2000. The centres now see an average of 115 patients a day.
  • A total of 75 Walk-in Centres are now operational across the country, with at least 14 sites in development

MORI Social Research Institute interviewed 800 workers using train stations to travel to work, face to face, in London, Manchester and Newcastle, between 21st and 28th October 2004. The survey’s key findings were:

  • Nearly two in three commuters say they are likely to use the facilities, and two in five (42%) are certain or very likely to use them.
  • Those who use the stations frequently, which is at least once a week, are more likely to say they are certain to use the facilities (16%). Commuters whose journey takes less than one hour are more inclined to say they are very likely to use them (30%).
  • Three quarters of commuters say they would prefer to just walk in. Only one in six would prefer to make an appointment before being treated.
  • Commuters tend to prefer to use these facilities in the morning, on their way to work (36%), and in the evening, on their way back from work (32%).
  • While fast access is a must, commuters are less worried about who they see. The majority say it would not matter to them if they would be seen by a GP or a nurse. Only one in five would expect to be seen by a GP.
  • Commuters are interested in a range of different services. While one in three commuters say they would be interested in getting help for cold and flu symptoms (32%), a similar proportion would use the centres to get repeat prescriptions, and around one in five would get blood tests done, get vaccines for their travel, have their blood pressure measured or get the flu vaccine.
  • Overall, including non-users, two in five commuters identified more than one medical service they would be interested in using at the centre (39%). Only one in five say they would not use any of the medical services they were presented with (21%).

Contact  and then enter ‘walk-in centres’ in the ‘Search’ box for more information about your local centres.


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