05/01/2004

Further NHS 'walk-in' centres planned

Eleven new NHS 'walk-in' treatment centres are set to be created in England, bringing the total number to 64, the government has announced today.

The additional centres, where people are able to seek treatment for minor ailments and injuries, are being funded from a three-year £40 million investment package announced in July.

No appointment is necessary at the centres, and there have been more than four million visits to the 42 centres that have opened since 2000.

The development of the walk-in centres is part of the government's commitment to allow commuters access to primary care services near their workplace. An additional £10 million is being made available to support this initiative.

The NHS Plan promises that by December 2004 all patients should be seen by a GP within two working days or by a primary care professional in one day. All A&E patients should be seen within four hours. Ninety three per cent of patients are now able to see a GP within two working days and 90% of patients wait less than four hours in A&E.

The new centres will be set up in Brighton, Lewisham, Darlington, Barking and Dagenham, Skelmersdale, Colchester, Huntingdon, Prestwich, Salford, Gateshead and Sunderland.

(gmcg)

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