GPs consider closing Broad Street walk-in centre in Dagenham

The Broad Street walk-in centre in Dagenham may be closed.

The Broad Street walk-in centre in Dagenham may be closed. - Credit: Archant

A walk-in centre in Broad Street, Dagenham, could be closed under NHS savings proposals.

Barking and Dagenham GPs, who in April will take charge of local NHS budget, believe that walk-in centres are not doing what was originally intended for them.

Rather than easing pressures on other services, they say the centres are being used by patients to gain a second opinion or to save waiting to see their own GP.

An independent review of the Broad Street walk-in centre found a third of people visiting it needed no treatment at all and many went because they did not have a GP or they did not know where else to go.

Barking and Dagenham Clinical Commissioning Group Chair, Dr Waseem Mohi, said: “We don’t think walk-in centres are best for patients. If people see a GP, that GP has access to their records, knows what medicines they have used before and can treat the whole person. This is especially important for treating people who have an ongoing health problem, which walk-in centres simply aren’t set up to do.

“We recognise that some people do wait too long for a GP appointment. To help tackle this, doctors will soon be sharing empty appointment slots, expertise, facilities and equipment so we can help patients to be seen sooner. We’ll also make it easier for people to ‘phone before they go’ and get advice from their surgery about the best thing to do.”

The local GP group has begun a 12-week public consultation to ask residents what they think about plans to close Broad Street walk-in centre.

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Under the proposals, the GP surgery at Broad Street would remain open along with the walk-in centre at Barking Community Hospital.

Do you use the walk-in centre in Broad Street? What do you think of the proposals? Email or call 0208 477 3778.