Harringay online (award-winning local site) alerted me to rumours about the closure of the out of hours walk in facility at the Hornsey Hospital Community Health Centre. A letter arrived at the same time – so here it is in black and white. I have contacted them urgently on this and Cllr David Winskill (health spokesperson for Liberal Democrat council group) is in process of getting a meeting with them.
This is the same sort of shambles as we saw over the proposals they put forward on the Whittington A&E – ill thought out and without consultation. The PCT this time have summarily removed the service – suspended – pending evaluation because it is too expensive to continue whilst the evaluation is going on.
As this service is delivering on one of the promises made in terms of what would be in the new centre to get local people on board – it is totally unacceptable to remove the service – let alone without consultation.
As to cutting costs – well perhaps a few of the high salaried jobs could go in administration instead of a front line service as a first stop. There’s a novel idea!
Dear Ms. Featherstone
Re: Walk in centre at Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre
I am writing to inform you about NHS Haringey’s plans for the provision of the 8 – 8 GP led health service at Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre.
NHS Haringey commissioned the pilot walk in service in April 2010 for people who required medical attention outside of normal GP practice hours; at weekends and also during normal hours but without having to make an appointment.
It was always our intention to review the service after completion of the pilot phase to see how it complemented the other ways of accessing care, including NHS Direct, our out of hours services and extended GP opening hours. We recognized that we would need to establish whether the walk-in service was the best way of providing urgent unscheduled care and was not duplicating other GP extended hours services or being used as an alternative to General Practice appointments.
The pilot was due to finish on 31st July 2010; however, we extended it for another month and will now suspend the pilot from 1st September 2010 .This is to ensure we have sufficient time to put in place effective communication plans.
We recognize that this temporarily removes a service that has been of value to many patients. Under ordinary circumstances the preferred option would have been to continue the pilot whilst completing our evaluation. However, due to a rise in the payment required for the GP out of hours service this is no longer an option for the PCT.
We have put in place a communications plan to inform the public that the service is no longer available, and signposting them to the other ways that people obtain medical advice and treatment. These are:
NHS Direct: 0845 46 47
Out of hours service: 020-7388 5800
Seeking advice from your local pharmacist
Accident and emergency centres at The Whittington and the North Middlesex
I would also like to stress that NHS Haringey is committed to ensuring that Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre is a key community asset for the provision of Primary and Community Care services in the area. Services that are already provided at the centre include: GP Services provided by the QMP for their registered patients during normal opening hours and some extended hours, physiotherapy, foot health; speech and language therapy; midwifery and health visiting; counseling; sexual health clinics; minor surgery; dermatology outpatient clinics and diabetes outpatient clinics. We are working very closely with the Whittington Hospital to provide new clinical services including gynecology and obstetric outpatients. .
Once the pilot has been evaluated we look forward to updating you on future arrangements at Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre.