Walk-in centre review: preliminary report

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Monitor (Agency : Great Britain)
Date of publication
13 November 2013
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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In the decade from 2000-2010, the NHS opened more than 230 walk-in centres across England. The aim was to improve patients’ access to primary care, modernise the NHS to be more responsive to patients’ busy lifestyles, and offer patients more choice. The centres delivered primary care differently from the traditional way in which general practitioners (GPs) provide primary care services to patients who register with their practice. The walk-in centres allowed patients to access care from a GP or a nurse with no need to register or to pre-book an appointment. The centres were open for longer hours than the typical GP practice, including after normal working hours and on weekends. Walk-in centres proved to be popular with the public. Attendances at many centres exceeded expected levels. However, in spite of their popularity, in the last few years, more than 50 walk-in centres closed across England. In many localities where walk-in centres still operate, commissioners are reviewing contractual arrangements and are considering closing the centres or making changes to services or locations.

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