Pharmacy says changes to Guildhall walk-in centre is causing confusion

The Guildhall Walk-in Healthcare Centre in Guildhall Walk

The Guildhall Walk-in Healthcare Centre in Guildhall Walk

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THE owner of a pharmacy says changes to a city walk-in clinic have caused confusion.

Baldev Laly, from Lalys Pharmacy in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, says a handful of people are entering the store every day asking where they can get walk-in services.

Every day we have about three to four people come in who do not know where to go.

Baldev Laly

It comes after the decision was made by Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group to move the walk-in service at Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre to St Mary’s Hospital, in Milton.

Since the change, only patients registered at the GP practice can use the walk-in facilities.

But Portsmouth CCG said the initial signs seem to be encouraging.

Mr Laly said: ‘Every day we have about three to four people come in who do not know where to go.

‘It will be a lot worse when the students come back.

‘People are getting rude and angry to our staff because they feel like they should be able to do more.’

Mr Laly added that when people are told St Mary’s Hospital has the walk-in clinic, they say they will either go to the A&E department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, or call the out-of-hours doctor.

‘It is putting more pressure on other health services,’ he said.

Mr Laly has written a letter to Labour ward councillor Stephen Morgan explaining the problems.

Cllr Morgan said: ‘I understand some patients are going straight to A&E rather than to the facilities at St Mary’s.

‘Like others, I am very concerned by the pressure this places on already stretched services at QA. I urge the CCG to look again at its decision and get this sorted.’

Portsmouth CCG said it is essential people know the services available to them.

Tracy Sanders, chief strategic officer, said: ‘Urgent care services in the city changed in July. Clearly it is still early days, and big changes like this will always take some time to bed in, but the initial signs seem to be positive.

‘The number of people with minor illnesses and injuries going to St Mary’s has increased, as was expected and planned for. At the same time, there are no signs that there was any significant change in the number of people going to A&E with more minor complaints, in the period after the changes were introduced.

‘Having said that, there is always more we can do to communicate about the way services are now run. It’s essential that people know the options available to them.

‘We believe the new system is simpler, and that bringing both GPs and nurses together at St Mary’s offers a really high quality service to people across the whole city.

‘We will continue to aim to work hard to engage people in our plans and to explain and communicate any changes clearly.’

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