Portsmouth healthcare walk-in centre faces axe under plan

The Guildhall Walk healthcare centre
The Guildhall Walk healthcare centre
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TWO walk-in centres in Portsmouth could be combined into one under plans to make it less confusing for patients.

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

The NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which pays for the service, is looking at making a change as the Guildhall contract is up for renewal in March next year. The proposal is for the service to move to St Mary’s Treatment Centre, in Milton Road, which has a walk-in centre.

The Guildhall walk-in service currently treats illnesses – but the CCG said this could be causing patients confusion and it would be better for one place to provide all help.

The CCG’s chief operating officer Innes Richens said: ‘We have been doing a lot of work to see what people’s views are on the health services and reduce the flow of patients turning up to the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

‘One of the things we found is patients get confused with the amount of choice there is, and that perhaps there should be fewer options.

‘As the contract for the Guildhall walk-in centre is due for renewal, now is a good time to be having the discussion. We would still be spending the same amount of money on the service if it did move to St Mary’s.’

Carol Elliott, manager of patient support group Portsmouth Healthwatch, said: ‘I can understand why it would make sense to have one centre, but there is a concern for the students who use the walk-in centre.

‘If you don’t have transport then access to only one centre can become an issue. It’s about engaging with people, so views are listened to.’

There are around 6,000 people registered to the centre as GP patients. Mr Innes said all these patients have been contacted giving them three options for GP services there.

Patients are being given three options: should the GP service stay in the same place, be moved, or should it close and patients register elsewhere. The CCG will present its proposal at Portsmouth City Council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel on Tuesday at 9.30am, at Portsmouth Guildhall.