Newest Review: ... especially as their opening hours are longer and more convenient. I have been on two separate occasions, and have also been with someon... more
Walk in, walk out... waiting all about
NHS Walk In Centre
Member Name: Littlegreenlady
NHS Walk In Centre
Advantages: Good way of getting health concerns checked out
Disadvantages: Can be a bit of a wait
I have to say I am in two minds about the walk in service. On the whole I have always found them to be helpful and generally quick, on the other, apart from advising and telling you what is wrong, they are limited it what they can do for you - for example they can't write prescriptions.
My local walk in centre is in the high street, and since I work five minutes around the corner, in theory it's very handy. My doctor is also nearby but I struggle to get an appointment easily, unless I beg and plead with the dragon lady receptionist. As a result, if I just have something quite short and quick, the walk in is the preferable option, especially as their opening hours are longer and more convenient. I have been on two separate occasions, and have also been with someone else when they went.
What does it involve?
The local walk in centre houses a variety of nurses, doctors, emergency dentists and blood technicians, meaning you need to make it very clear to the receptionist what help you need. You are given a form to fill out which asks for your personal information (name, address, age etc) and health information. They also ask for your regular doctor's address. Once you have filled the form out and given it back to the receptionist, it's a matter of waiting. It's worth mentioning at this point that due to the different services provided, other people may come in after you but be seen before you.
Can they help?
In general - yes. The first time I went, I was going abroad and had popped in hoping to get vaccinated. Unfortunately that wasn't something that the walk in centre can provide, but the nurse I spoke to was lovely and helpful and told me exactly which ones I would need, and answered my questions about them. We had a discussion about Malaria tablets as well. The second time I went I had a swollen bite on my ankle. Again they couldn't actually do anything about it but the doctor advised me what over the counter medicine I could take.
When should you use it?
The walk in centres are a good tie in with the NHS direct phoneline - if you are unsure of what treatment you need, if you don't know if you need a doctor or not, then they are the place to go. Some people may feel uncomfortable or may struggle with the phone line, so this is a face to face alternative.
* Can be quicker than a doctors appointment
* Can save you an appointment if your problem is minor and easily treatable
* If you don't know whether to go to the doctors or not, they can act as advisors
* No appointment necessary
* Better opening hours than most surgeries.
* You may need to see a doctor if you need a prescription
* During busy periods (weekends for example) they can be very busy and you may be waiting for a while
Summary: Good idea
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