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End of the road for drop-in centre at Basingstoke hospital
A DROP-IN centre at Basingstoke hospital is set to close at the end of the month.
As previously reported in The Gazette, NHS Hampshire made a decision last year to close the GP practice, which operates the drop-in service at the Hampshire Healthcare Centre at Basingstoke hospital.
All services in the current centre will close on March 31 but the dental practice will continue from new premises, details of which have yet to be confirmed.
The drop-in centre, which opened in December 2009, is one of the so-called “Darzi Centres” that each Primary Care Trust was ordered to establish by the previous Labour Government. The centres were the brainchild of the then Labour health minister Lord Ara Darzi.
But with fewer than 600 patients registering at the centre – far fewer than the 3,000 it was hoped would register – NHS Hampshire decided it was no longer viable.
A spokesman for NHS Hampshire said: “In real terms, a registered patient list of fewer than 2,000 people is not enough to make sure that there is at least one whole-time GP available to work in a practice to provide a full range of services to patients.
“The practice can appear busy because many of those attending are local people, who are registered with another GP in the Basingstoke area, but who use this facility instead.
“Patients who are registered with the surgery received letters in spring last year informing them that they will need to register at another practice from April 2013.
“No one will be without access to a GP because they’re either already registered at another practice or have been advised to do so.”
For health advice information, or a non life-threatening health issue, residents can call 111 if unsure about where to go for treatment. Advisers will assess symptoms and either give out advice or direct patients to the correct local service. This could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, emergency dentist, community nurse or a late-opening chemist.