Health bosses approve plans to close walk-in centre in Great Yarmouth

Greyfriars Health Centre celebrating its 6th birthday.Picture: James Bass

Greyfriars Health Centre celebrating its 6th birthday.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Plans to close a multi-million walk-in clinic in Great Yarmouth have been approved by health bosses.

Greyfrairs Medical Clinic in Howard Street will close by September after the governing body of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) approved the proposals at a meeting in Beccles this afternoon.

Officials from NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) met to examine a report outlining how patients used the clinic and to consider its future.

CCG bosses said the walk-in centre was not used enough and had 'minimal impact towards reducing A&E attendances' at the James Paget.

Their own figures show that between April 2014 and March 2015 the average attendance per day was 28, with around half of those being people from outside the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area, however the report noted that the centre was busier during the holiday season.

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At weekends 57 patients attend per day, with a third of them coming from outside the area.

A Norfolk County Council report found in May 2014 that 42pc of patients spoken to at Greyfriars said that they would have attended A&E if the walk-in centre had not been available.

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The CCG plans to mitigate the walk-in centre closure by 'enhancing' the NHS 111 helpline and expanding the GP-led out-of-hours primary care service at the Paget.

The contract to provide GP and walk in centre services at Greyfrairs in Howard Street South came to an end on March 31 – it was then extended for another six months and is currently provided by Malling Health.

Yvonne Ellis, the practice manager at Greyfriars, said: 'I understand the contract has come to an end, however I do not think the dispersal of our patients is necessary. I don't think they will save money by doing so.

'Neighbouring practices are already overworked. We regularly see patients from other surgeries who come here because they can't get an appointment.

'We do care about patients, it is not about money. We are there to provide a service and unfortunately we will not be able to do that from September. It is quite sad.'

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