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Walk-in centre patients face moving
PATIENTS registered at the walk-in centre in Salisbury will be forced to move to other surgeries in the city as part of plans to keep the centre open, it has been announced.
Tony Barron, chairman of NHS Wiltshire, made the announcement at a meeting of the Salisbury Area Board on Thursday.
NHS Wiltshire contracted Wilcodoc, a consortium of GPs, to provide services for the centre until March 2014 but because the Government is axing Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) from April next year, the service is being taken over by Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
In June, the CCG recommended that NHS Wiltshire varies its contract with Wilcodoc so that the 340 registered patients are transferred to other surgeries in the city while the open access element of the centre is retained.
Mr Barron said: “Wiltshire CCG and NHS Wiltshire together recognise that the Salisbury Walk-In Centre provides excellent services for patients who use it. However, since the centre opened in 2009, only 340 patients have actually registered with GPs there.
“The great majority of the people who use the services are actually registered with one of the ten Salisbury GP practices, and this effectively means that the NHS pays twice for those patients; an anomaly which must be corrected before the CCG inherits the contract for the centre next year.”
Jo Broom, practice manager at the centre, said at the meeting on Thursday that she was surprised at the announcement because staff were unaware a decision had been made.
She said: “The area board meeting was the first we had heard about it so I was somewhat surprised.
“I think patients will be upset that the choice has been taken away from them without, it would appear, any form of consultation.”
The future of the centre from March 2014 is set to be discussed by Wiltshire CCG at a later date.
Mr Barron said: “Salisbury people should rest assured that the CCG will strive to ensure all future outcomes are ones which provide the highest quality, best value services for the future, and that a full public consultation will be a part of that process.”