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Monitor calls for joint effort to decide fate of walk-in centres


21 February 2014

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Commissioners, NHS England and the local community should work together to decide the future of walk-in centres, Monitor has advised. 
Any proposal to close or change the provision of walk-in centres should consider the impact on other local serves such as GP surgeries, urgent care, ambulances and A&E departments. 
Monitor has advices clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to publish more information about how and when decisions are made locally. 

Commissioners, NHS England and the local community should work together to decide the future of walk-in centres, Monitor has advised. 
Any proposal to close or change the provision of walk-in centres should consider the impact on other local serves such as GP surgeries, urgent care, ambulances and A&E departments. 
Monitor has advices clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to publish more information about how and when decisions are made locally. 
They should also investigate what patients and community groups think before closing a service, by conducting user surveys, sponsoring discussion forums and liaising with local Healthwatch representatives. 
Catherine Davies, executive director for co-operation and competition, said: 
"We found that walk-in centres are most valued today where they were introduced following a careful assessment of local needs, located in an area of the community where the service could be conveniently accessed by those who need it, and procured using a sound process that resulted in value for money.
“Our advice is designed to help commissioners make these services work better for patients, although ultimately what is best for patients will depend on local circumstances.”
Following on from its inquiry into walk-in centres last year, the sector regulator offers advice on best practice in decision-making, suggesting that commissioners should publish more information about how and when decisions are made locally.
The full report is available on the Monitor website

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