THURROCK health leaders want your views on proposals to close the walk-in service at Thurrock Health Centre in Grays and improve other urgent GP services in the borough. An eight-week public consultation began on Monday (2 February).
NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is in charge of much of the local NHS budget, believes that walk-in services are not delivering what was originally intended.
NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chair, Dr Anand Deshpande, said: “We want to provide more accessible healthcare services for patients. If a patient sees 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 services simply aren’t set up to do. That’s why many walk-in services around the country have already closed.
“We need to make sure we provide the right services for patients in the right place and at the right time.”
The contract to provide walk-in services at Thurrock Health Centre comes to an end in September 2015. Before drawing up proposals for the future of the service, a review was carried out to see who was using the service and why.
This review showed that 90 per cent of the people who went to the walk-in service already had a GP, and over a third used it to get a second opinion (they had already seen their GP with the same complaint).
It also showed that most of them went there with minor injuries and ailments that could have been sorted out by their GP, going to a pharmacy, the minor injuries unit, out of hours’ services or sensible self-care.
Dr Deshpande continued: “Like the rest of the NHS, Thurrock CCG needs to be careful how we use our budget to provide health and healthcare services across the whole of Thurrock. Most of the people who go to the walk in service come from either Grays or Tilbury, meaning that residents in the rest of the borough lose out.
“We want to invest in services that are closer to people’s homes across the whole of the borough, and we believe that if we close the walk-in service we could do this better.”
Thurrock CCG wants to know what local people think about the proposals for the future of the walk-in service in Grays. The consultation is based on three proposals: carry on with no change to the contract, renew the contract but w