Health chiefs speak out over walk-in centre ‘closure’

Brighton Station Health Centre on Queens Road
Brighton Station Health Centre on Queens Road

Health commissioners said the walk in centre at Brighton Station Health Centre will remain open until next March – and added that it was looking to roll-out several non-urgent care facilities across the city.

Brighton and Hove clinical commissioning group (CCG) often signposts patients with non-urgent issues to the walk-in centre to help free up A&E.

A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove CCG said: “We are committed to improving access to non-urgent treatment for people in the city through greater accessibility to services.

“We can reassure people that no decision has been reached to close the Walk in Centre and it is contracted to remain open until March 2019. The public will get their chance to have their say before any service changes are made.”

The CCG added that patients registered at Brighton Station Health Centre run by Care UK will maintain their GP access.

The sexual health drop-in service is set to continue from the site for now, before being provided elsewhere in the city, health chiefs said.

But Care UK, which runs the walk-in service, said it would not be able to continue to provide the non-urgent service from the health centre next year.

The CCG spokesperson said: “Therefore, as part of our strategic urgent care planning, we will be consulting with the public on a new way of providing non-urgent same day treatment, including possibly replacing old ways of working, such as the Walk in Centre, with better provision from a number of sites around the city where people will be able to access non-urgent treatment, rather than just at the single city centre site.

“Through the new way of providing this care, patients will get improved access to same day enhanced services. This will bring increased resilience to our GP practices by providing them with the greater levels of support they have called for to deal with high demand for urgent and same day treatment. This will offer all patients registered with any GP in the city improved access to same-day booked appointments at evening and weekends.

“We will achieve better value for money for the community by drawing the separate strands of primary care together so patients benefit from a joined up model of urgent care, tailored to meet the needs of local people, and delivered locally. We will fully engage with the community on any changes, to discuss how existing and further investments can be made to develop an urgent treatment centre, primary community health hubs and technology to support patients with accessing care in the right place.”