Walk-in centre helping to take the A&E strain

Leigh Walk In Centre at Leigh Health Centre
Leigh Walk In Centre at Leigh Health Centre

Leigh NHS Walk-in Centre treated scores of patients a day last year helping to ease pressures on busy local hospitals, new figures reveal.

During 2016, Leigh NHS Walk-in Centre staff worked extremely hard to alleviate some of the strain on local hospitals by assessing and treating 54,670 patients – which is an average of 150 per day.

The walk-in centre is run by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Bridgewater) in partnership with Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group.

It is based at Leigh Health Centre and has a team of specially trained and experienced nurses on hand seven days a week to treat a range of non-serious conditions ranging from suspected simple fractures and allergic reactions to injuries and infections.

There is also a seven-day X-ray facility for limb injuries on site.

Catherine Partington, Bridgewater’s clinical services manager at Leigh NHS Walk-in Centre said: “2016 has been another busy year for Leigh Walk-in Centre. During the past few months, there has been an increase in the number of patients we have treated with chest infections, coughs, colds and gastroenteritis but our staff have worked tirelessly to provide a consistent high-quality service.

“During the festive period alone, 1,588 people came through our doors for treatment for a variety of illnesses and injuries.

“We are proud of the volume of people we have treated and are very pleased that so many have chosen to use our service in 2016, helping to reduce some of the pressures on our busy local hospitals.

“We continue to urge anyone who has a minor injury or illness to consider their options before going straight to A&E.

“This could include coming to Leigh Walk-in Centre or visiting a pharmacy, GP or calling NHS 111 for advice.”

Leigh 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.

Leigh NHS Walk-in Centre is based at Leigh Health Centre, The Avenue, Leigh, WN7 1HR and is open 7am to 9pm daily.

The centre can be contacted by calling 01942 483453.

To find out more visit www.bridgewater.nhs.uk/ashtonleighwigan/leighwalkincentre/.

There has been a concerted effort by health chiefs in recent months to get people with injuries and medical problems to use local services properly.

They say that far too many people are turning up at Wigan’s accident and emergency department with issues that shouldn’t be dealt with there.

The walk-in centre is one of several alternatives that patients are urged to consider when they have a problem.

Others include consulting their GP, going to out-of-hours GP clinics, ringing the NHS 111 helpline for advice or even consulting their local pharmacist.

The North West Ambulance Service has been criticised by watchdogs for its slow response times in some instances but part of the problem is overcrowded A&Es.