Closures of Walk-in Centres ‘May Worsen A&E Crisis’

Closures of Walk-in Centres ‘May Worsen A&E Crisis’

Closures of Walk-in centres ‘May Worsen A&E crisis’
Healthcare regulator Monitor has warned that walk-in centre closures could make it more difficult for patients to have access to GPs which could result in more people going to A&E.
It has reviewed the closures of 50 out of the 230 walk-in centres in England over the past three years.
Monitor discovered that the public like and want the centres but critics are worried that this could result in duplication of services.
The government have labelled the walk-centres as “one part” of out-of-hours care.
Monitor surveyed nearly 1900 patients at 20 walk-in centres about their options if the walk-in centre was not available 21% of those said they would have gone to A&E and a third of those would go to their own or a different GP.
22% of participants said that they had attempted to call a GP practice but could not get an appointment or one at a convenient time.
24% did not try to contact a GP because they thought they would not get an appointment.
Monitor revealed that their research showed that walk-in centres were most likely to be used by those between 16 and 45 years old and women were slightly more likely to visit them.
The walking centres have closed because of worries they are not helping A&E.
A lot of contracts for the walk-in centres are up for renewal in 2014 and the review showed confusion on who should decide whether or not they are reviewed and said that because of the upheaval in the NHS the decisions may have been put off.
Monitor said that there should be careful thought about these closures.

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