More GP staff to cope with walk-in centre closure

A Lincoln GP practice has taken on more staff and is using additional space at a neighbouring surgery in order to meet demand following the closure of the Monks Road Walk-In-Centre.

Abbey Medical Practice has hired an additional GP, a practice nurse and a clinical pharmacist after the closure of the centre at the end of February.

Meanwhile, three members of staff now start earlier at 8am in order to answer additional morning phone calls.

The practice is also using space at the opposite Arboretum surgery in order to deal with patient demand.

Some 30 more patients have been registered at Abbey Medical since February 5, 2018.

Other practices, such as Portland Medical, Cliff House and Lindum Medical, have said that they have seen an increase in patients for same day appointments and minor illnesses.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

But,Lincolnshire West CCG said they are increasing provision at GP practices to cope with demand as part of alternative provisions to the Walk-In-Centre.

The alternatives were presented to the health scrutiny panel for Lincolnshire in February.

However, Councillors on the panel said that they were not convinced by the proposals put forward.

The provisions also include:

•Engagement with university students to register with GP

•Redeploying staff from the walk-in centre to urgent care services

•Improvements to 111 non-emergency helpline

•Encouraging people to use online booking and pharmacists

Sarah-Jane Mills, Chief Operating Officer at Lincolnshire West CCG. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Sarah-Jane Mills, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Lincolnshire West CCG, said: “No GP practice in the Lincolnshire West locality is closed to new patients and every opportunity is taken to encourage people who are not registered with a GP to register.

“We are confident that the additional clinical capacity meets the increased demand associated to changes to service provision on Monks Road and we continue to work with the practice to secure the development of their facilities so that they will be able to deliver all services from a single site on Monks Road.

“The CCG also continues to monitor the strengthening and development of alternative provisions across the whole of its region.”

Representatives from the CCG will present further details on the impact of alternative provisions to the next health scrutiny panel meeting on Wednesday, May 16.

Lincolnshire West CCG confirmed the closure of the Lincoln walk-in centre in January 2018 after nine years of service to the city.

A consultation exercise organised by the CCG saw 94% of respondents opposed to the closure.

NHS bosses said that 95% of walk-in-centre users had ailments which could be treated elsewhere, and had worked hard to provide an additional 190 GP appointments each day.

They argued that there was a duplication of services and that there would be no impact on Lincoln County Hospital A&E.