Board approves a 12-week consultation to decide the future of a walk-in centre

Chief operating officer Innes Richens, left, and chairman of the Primary Care Commissioning Board Tom Morton discuss plans to move the Guildhall walk-in centre
Chief operating officer Innes Richens, left, and chairman of the Primary Care Commissioning Board Tom Morton discuss plans to move the Guildhall walk-in centre

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  • Consultation due to start in mid-October
  • Preferred option is for walk-in centre to move to St Mary’s and GP surgery to John Pounds Centre or Somers Town Hub
  • People encouraged to make their views heard
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PEOPLE are being urged to take part in a consultation that will determine the future of a walk-in health centre.

A 12-week consultation about the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre will start in mid-October.

Engagement does change things and I encourage as many people as possible to take part

Innes Richens chief operating officer for the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group

The decision was made at a Primary Care Commissioning board meeting yesterday.

Innes Richens, chief operating officer for the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which pays for the service, has promised people that their views will be taken into consideration.

He said: ‘Engagement does change things and I encourage as many people as possible to take part.

‘There’s this theory that everything is a “done deal” but it isn’t.

‘The messages we have heard so far have changed our thinking and we want more people to get involved.’

The Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre in Guildhall Walk has a walk-in service and a GP surgery.

The CCG is looking at making a change as the contract is up for renewal in March next year.

There are four options, one option is for the services to remain as they are, while the other three options all involve the walk-in centre moving to St Mary’s Treatment Centre in Milton Road.

The three choices for the GP practice, which has 6,000 registered patients, would be for it to stay where it is, move to another location, or it close entirely and patients register elsewhere.

The CCG said plans to move it are being discussed as surveys carried out found patients were confused by the different services the walk-in centres offer, and that it is not a cost-cutting exercise.

Its preferred option would see the walk-in centre move to St Mary’s, and the GP practice move to either the Somers Town hub or the John Pounds Centre, in Queen Street, Southsea.

Both of these sites have space owned by the NHS rather than the Guildhall site, which is privately owned.

Board lay member Jackie Powell said: ‘I like the idea of an enhanced walk-in centre that is a one-stop shop for minor injuries and illnesses.

‘It’s also good the NHS uses space it is already paying for, so that’s a good idea too.

‘I’m concerned about the transport links and want to know if this is being looked at.’

The CCG said a traffic and transport survey is being completed for the St Mary’s site.

Consultation details will be released in a couple of weeks.