Walk-in centre set to stay

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Health bosses have scotched rumours that the borough’s walk-in centre is closing its doors.

Comments have been posted on social media in recent days suggesting there are plans to shut Leigh Walk-In Centre, which is based at Leigh Health Centre.

Thousands of people with minor injuries and illnesses are treated there every year, helping to reduce the high demand at Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department.

Now Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have told the Post that the walk-in centre is there to stay.

In a joint statement, they said: “There are no plans to close the Leigh Walk-in Centre and it is one of our main urgent care services for residents, providing a convenient alternative to A&E for certain conditions.

“During 2016, Leigh NHS Walk-in Centre staff assessed and treated 54,670 patients – which is an average of 150 a day.

“The walk-in centre is open every day of the week to help treat any minor ailments and illnesses such as cuts or wounds, sore throats, suspected simple fractures, rashes and allergic reactions, bites or stings, minor burns or scalds, minor head injuries, coughs and colds, sprains and strains, earache, emergency contraception, eye injuries and infections.”

The walk-in centre is run by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Wigan Borough CCG.

A team of specially trained nurses work there seven days a week, treating a range of conditions from suspected simple fractures and allergic reactions to injuries and infections.

There is also an X-ray facility for limb injuries.

The walk-in centre is one of the sources of treatment to which patients with minor injuries and illnesses have been directed over the past year, while Wigan’s A&E unit has been under increased pressure.

There have been repeated calls for people to only go to A&E if they have serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions.

The hospital failed to meet the target of seeing 95 per cent of patients in A&E within four hours every month in 2016.