New contract could see Guildhall Walk GP practice remain open until 2017

A CITY healthcare centre is set to be handed a one-year reprieve before it closes.

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 5:24 am
The Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre in Portsmouth

The centre in Guildhall Walk runs two services – a GP practice and a walk-in centre.

It has already been decided that the walk-in side will be moved to St Mary’s Hospital in Milton.

The future of the GP practice is uncertain – it could eventually be closed, stay as it is or be moved to another base – but yesterday it was revealed that Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is in talks to keep the surgery and the walk-in centre open for current patients until next March. For the next year though, a change is that as of July 1 only registered patients of the surgery will be able to use the walk-in centre.

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Thousands of people signed two petitions to keep the service as it was. But in March the CCG approved the plans to move the walk-in centre.

There were doubts raised whether the GP practice would remain open but a new contract will secure the future of the service until next year.

Mark Compton, head of primary care transformation at Portsmouth CCG, said: ‘We are looking to agree a new interim contract that will start on July 1 and keep Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre open until 2017.

‘We held a market engagement event in April that invited interested parties to discuss some of the services that we may want to commission going forward when the interim contract ends.’

Yesterday’s CCG meeting also spoke about the pharmacy-based urgent care services.

Kate Hovenden, director of primary care, said the implementation of the Pharmacy First scheme should be up and running by July 1.

The scheme looks to give pharmacies the power to treat a wide range of illnesses and injuries and serve more people.

Ms Hovenden said: ‘We are looking at what illnesses and injuries we want to implement for the Pharmacy First services. We aim to have it ready to coincide with the changes to the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre.

‘It means pharmacies can treat relatively straight forward illnesses.’

She added: ‘The next stage of the scheme, which will take longer, is to look at pharmacies being able to treat even more illness which might need antibiotics.’