Review ordered into Burslem NHS walk-in centre
A HOSPITAL walk-in centre is under investigation amid claims it is not working effectively.
Experts are looking into why the unit at Haywood Hospital, in Burslem, is failing to take the pressure off North Staffordshire's main accident unit.
The review comes as health watchdogs complained the Haywood is in the wrong location to conveniently serve large parts of the area's half million-strong population.
The review is looking at:
Visiting the Home & Garden show this Sunday?
We will have some exclusive deals for you so make sure you visit our stand and say hello
Terms: With free entry just visit the show at the Moat House hotel Festival Park between 11am and 4pm and pick up a leaflet
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
Whether the Haywood is treating the right type of cases;
Why so few ambulances take patients to the Haywood;
Whether doctors should be based at the nurse-led centre.
The review will be carried out by the area's two GP-led clinical commissioning groups.
Dr David Hughes, accountable officer of North Staffordshire CCG, said: "The review is to see how we can make the best of the walk-in centre.
"As a body we have inherited this service from other organisations and I can understand people's frustrations with it.
"There is clearly an issue over trying to avoid people using A&E if it is not appropriate for them to go there."
Dr Hughes revealed details of the review at a meeting of Newcastle Borough Council's health scrutiny committee this week.
He added: "In future we may have to do things differently generally, including at the walk-in centre, and that may not be to the liking of the public so we need political support from yourselves to help carry it through."
The walk-in centre opened 13 years ago to treat minor injuries or illnesses.
It was redeveloped as part of a £35 million makeover of the Haywood site four years ago and sees nearly 40,000 cases a year.
Residents are urged to use the walk-in centre rather than add to the queues at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire's A&E.
But critics say its lack of doctors and x-ray facilities shutting out of hours push people to the accident unit.
It was also at the centre of a row last year when it started charging patients for prescription drugs which continue to be given out free by doctors and nurses in the main A&E.
The review has been welcomed by scrutiny committee member and Newcastle Mayor David Becket.
He said: "The Haywood walk-in centre is simply not working and A&E gets so overloaded because people continue to go there instead of the walk-in centre.
"With great respect to Stoke-on-Trent people it is not in the ideal place for people in Newcastle and the Moorlands.
"Except for from maybe Biddulph it is hard to get a bus to it and it is a good way by car for people in Leek and Cheadle. By contrast A&E at Hartshill is on several bus routes so it is no wonder people go there by default."
The Haywood was previously run by the University Hospital. The hospital's A&E consultants have said they would still be willing to work some shifts there.