Following extensive consultation, NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (responsible for commissioning or ‘buying’ healthcare services for the people who live and work in the borough) has decided to close the NHS Walk in Centre in Streatham at the end of March 2017.
The CCG talked with patients using the Walk in Centre, local residents, GPs and other stakeholders as part of its review of the walk in centre, and after considering several different options, has decided to close the Walk in Centre service which is one of several GP facilities based at Gracefield Gardens.
The GP Access Hub, The Exchange Surgery and Streatham High Practice will all remain open at the centre, as well as clinics which are held there.
On the day GP appointments will continue to be available at the GP Access Hub at the Gracefield Gardens Health Centre for all people registered with Lambeth GP practices, as well as at the hubs in other areas of the borough.
These appointments can be booked through the surgery patients are registered with, as well as via NHS 111 and SELDOC (the out of hours GP provider) when their own surgery is closed.
NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) decided to close the walk in centre following a review which showed that the GP Access Hubs located across the borough offered a better system to local people and that appointments were available at them which would reduce waiting times.
The GP Access Hubs, which are located in the north, south east, and south west of Lambeth, offer an extra 82,000 appointments each year in addition to those GP appointments available at the 46 GP practices across the borough. They are open from 12 noon to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 8pm at weekends.
When the Walk in Centre closes, the CCG will support patients to use the GP Access Hubs and is putting plans in place to ensure anyone who did not know the Walk in Centre was closing is able to see a GP. It will also be supporting people who aren’t registered with a GP to do so quickly, to ensure they can be seen at the GP Access Hubs.
Dr Adrian McLachlan, Chair of NHS Lambeth CCG, said: “This is very much a way of improving services to patients. Instead of just turning up and having to wait a long time, in some cases hours, patients will be able to use the GP Access Hubs which are located across Lambeth to access GP services with an on the day appointment if they are unable to get one at their own surgery.
“We opened the GP Access Hubs in 2015 so that we could offer more flexibility to people in Lambeth who needed a GP appointment. They are open until 8pm and are our local solution to ensure people can access a GP appointment seven days a week.”
The CCG is planning a communication campaign to help local people understand how they can access GP appointments. This will start before the walk in centre closes on 31 March 2017 and more information will be made available on this website in the near future.
*If you’re unable to get an on the day GP appointment with your own GP practice, please ask them about the GP Access Hubs. If you don’t have a GP in Lambeth but live in the borough, please contact your nearest surgery to register. If you live out of the area but need to see a GP fast, you can be seen as a temporary patient at any surgery.
You can find your nearest surgery here.
Article taken from NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning website.