The city centre walk in service in Wakefield will stay open as part of plans to invest in better access to healthcare for local people.
NHS Wakefield CCG has confirmed that it wishes to extend the contract for the walk in service at King Street for at least the next two years.
The decision is being made public before the procurement exercise has been completed to dampen rumours that the future of the walk in service was under threat following the end of the contract for the GP practice which was also located at the King Street premises.
The GP practice will close at the end of its contract on 31 March and the 3,700 registered patients are being supported to register with one of the other practices which serve the same population.
The walk-in service is run under a separate contract which runs until the end of September 2017 but will be extended.
The move is part of a plan by NHS Wakefield to give people better access to primary care and GP services across the district. As well as keeping the King Street walk-in service open, the CCG is investing in extended opening hours for GP services across the district. Local GPs are working with Local Care Direct, which provides the walk in service and the district GP out of hours service, to develop a new extended access service for the whole district. This will build on the current system of extended access on weekday evenings and at weekends provided by groups of practices working together.
Dr Greg Connor, Medical Advisor to the CCG, said: ‘The walk in service remains an important local service and is highly valued by many patients. The CCG, local practices and Local Care Direct are extending and building on the good primary care services we already have so that people all across the district get prompt safe care and do not queue in a hospital emergency department unnecessarily. This helps people get care in the right place for their needs, takes some of the pressure off general practices and ensures hospital emergency departments are freed up to see people with serious and life threatening conditions.’