Opinion: Difficult healthcare choices must be made

Cllr Ketan Sheth is disappointed at the closure of the NHS Cricklewood walk-in service.

Cllr Ketan Sheth is disappointed at the closure of the NHS Cricklewood walk-in service. - Credit: Archant

It was very disappointing to hear that the NHS had made the decision to close the NHS Cricklewood walk-in service despite there being strong public and political opposition to the move.

My community and wellbeing scrutiny committee was told by the NHS that the majority of people who were using the walk-in centre were using it for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds and that there was increasing number of GP appointments available through GP extended access hub services.

They also said they were investing in online services including video consultations.

The point they are making is that all these services have access to patients’ records and that the walk-in service does not.

They believe that access to a patient record allows the GP to offer a better and safer service to the patient.


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The theory of all this is fine and I also understand at a time when the NHS is under increasing financial pressure, they need to make difficult choices and sometimes they have to stop doing things. Accepting it does not always mean always liking it and I have challenged the NHS to do more to let people know what services are available and how to access them. I will be watching this closely over the next few months to ensure that they do.

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