Health bosses are reminding users of the GP walk in service at Middleton Health Centre it will no longer be available from April 1st 2017, although the Middleton Health Centre will continue to practice as normal for its registered patients. This is one of a series of changes to GP services in the borough that was agreed back in 2015 due to new landscape of services.
Messages about the change have been made available on practice websites, practice waiting rooms, CCG website and news blogs and in information leaflets detailing alternative services.
Following a period of public engagement, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG and NHS England made a number of decisions about future primary care services at a meeting of a Joint Committee held in public at Rochdale Town Hall in November 2015.
These decisions centred on the future form of time limited (APMS) GP surgery contracts in the borough (Birtle View Medical Practice in Heywood, Kingsway Medical Practice in Rochdale, Middleton Health Centre in Middleton and Kirkholt Medical Practice in Rochdale) at which the CCG and NHS England decided to recommission the surgeries to allow registered patients to continue to receive care at the centres into the future. Another of these decisions was that the walk-in element of the Middleton Health Centre contract would not be renewed beyond the current contract. The current contract ceases on March 31st 2017.
The Committee was aware that in December 2015, a new service would be launched offering significant additional appointments with a GP or nurse in the evening, weekends and bank holidays available equitably across the borough at four hubs. These services are currently offered at Littleborough Health Centre, Birtle View Medical Practice, Kingsway Medical Practice and Peterloo Medical Centre and from April 1st 2017 will be Littleborough Health Centre, The Phoenix Centre, Heywood, Rochdale Infirmary and Middleton Health Centre.
Access to the hubs appointments can be made by contacting either a patient’s own GP surgery or directly via 0161 763 8292. Hub appointments are available Monday to Friday 6.30pm to 9pm. Saturday 8am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 1pm and bank holidays as Saturdays. Community pharmacists are also a valuable source of guidance and advice. Eligible patients in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale can benefit from the minor ailments scheme at most pharmacies, which allows them to obtain remedies for minor conditions, at no cost, without a prescription. The NHS 111 service is an important source of urgent care and advice for patients, who need care or treatment for themselves or their families, without being an emergency.
Dr Chris Duffy, Clinical Chair of NHS HMR CCG said; “The CCG has commissioned primary care services for the borough’s patients that will meet their needs in as equitable a way as possible by offering appointments to all those registered, in the evening, at weekends and even on bank holidays at four hubs. The system is easy to access, often providing appointments at short notice. This system allows for much greater flexibility and choice for more patients across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale. Any current users of the Middleton walk in service, who are not registered with a GP are free to apply to register themselves and their family at the Health Centre or any practice convenient to them.”