Latest news on West London CCG plans for Earl’s Court Health and Wellbeing Service

West London CCG has outlined its latest plans for the Earl’s Court Health and Wellbeing Centre after the current healthcare provider has notified the CCG that it will stop providing the GP and walk-in centre services after 31 March 2020.

After an engagement exercise with local patients, the CCG is currently in the process of procuring a new provider to take over the existing patient list at the practice and will start proving care from the 1 April 2020.  

In addition the CCG  has been able to move into the centre a service which helps people with conditions that affect the joints, bones, muscles, and back pain known as a musculoskeletal (MSK) service. In addition, we’re also exploring whether a local GP practice would be interested in using the centre as an additional location to provide extra appointments for patients.

The walk-in centre (WIC) and its future

The contract for the walk-in service at Earls Court Health and Wellbeing Centre is due to expire on the 31 March 2020 and the CCG is currently considering what to do next.

We’ve heard from local residents that accessing health services can be confusing and means people are not always seen in the right care setting at the right time.

The walk-in centre no longer meets national guidance and it only sees around 15 patients a day, which doesn’t make it value for money. 

We are currently proposing not to renew the walk-in centre contract at the end of March and are carrying out an engagement exercise from the 2 to 27 September to hear from local people before any decisions are made.

The reasons for our proposal are as follows:

  • National guidance – Transforming Urgent and Emergency Care Services in England report which evidently suggests that walk-in centres are not effective in reducing A&E department attendances except when they are co-located and integrated with A&E departments
  • Clinical appropriateness – The walk-in service model offers one-off episodic care and is no longer viewed as good clinical practice and in the best interests of patients, who benefit from continuity of care from their own GP. This is a view fully supported by local GPs involved in discussions regarding ECHWBC
  • The walk-in centre activity neither encourages patients to seek primary care services wherever possible, nor does it represent value for money
  • Most of the walk-in patients presented with fever, sore throats, urinary infections and wound care needs. Many of which could be managed via a routine GP appointment, out of hospital care and/or a local pharmacist
  • Primary care capacity - the CCG has invested extensively in increased primary care capacity during the past couple of years through the GP extended access, located at hubs and local practices, ensuring availability of booked appointments 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
  • National GP contract - the 2019/20 GP contract requires practices to make available one appointment per 3000 patients per day for direct booking via 111 for patients requiring urgent care
  • The existing WIC service sees 15 to 16 patients per day, typically 2 patients per hour and is not deemed to be at full capacity
  • Patient registration - only 27% of patients seen at the WIC are registered with WLCCG GP practices
  • The walk in service provides poor value for money compared to alternative primary care access points such as ordinary GP appointments, GP appointments at the hubs and pharmacy.
  • Our analysis shows that Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust (C&W) see approximately 300 patients a day at its A&E / Urgent Care Centre (UCC) service.
  • In the unlikely event that as many as 50% of the patients currently presenting at the WIC in any given day started to attend C&W; when spread across the course of the working day this is not considered a figure which would have any detrimental impact on the service. 
  • Due to the location of the walk-in centre, as a consequence of the potential closure the figures for any additional patients attending Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust would be lower still.

 

 

The CCG will be carrying out an engagement exercise with users of the walk-in centre and wider stakeholders from the 2 – 27 September to:

  • Gain the views from a representative sample of people using the walk in centre and wider stakeholders regarding the CCG’s current proposal
  • Ask patients what’s important to them about the service and explore any actions the CCG would need to take if we were not to renew the walk-in centre contract
  • Work together with local CCGs to gain the views of patients who fall outside West London’s catchment area but still use the walk-in service
  • Carry out an online engagement exercise to raise awareness of the CCG’s proposal
  • Circulate information to surrounding GP practices to enable their patients to feedback

 

The outcomes of this engagement will then inform next steps and recommendations on the future of walk-in service to WLCCG’s Governing Body who will make the decision regarding the future of the contract. 

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CCG Press Office

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