Closure of St Mark's walk-in centre 'not being considered', CCG says

David Lee

The permanent closure of the minor illness and injury clinic at St Mark’s Hospital is not being considered, the Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the walk-in facility to close in April last year to combat the spread of the virus but residents are now calling for the venue to reopen.

Dr Jackie McGlynn, a Royal Borough GP and clinical lead for urgent and emergency care, said: “We know how much the people of Maidenhead value the existing urgent care centre and we want to work with the community to make sure we continue to offer high-quality, joined up local services which provide the best care and are easy to use.

“Closure of the urgent care centre is not being considered.”

Walk-in services will continue to remain suspended during the pandemic but the situation is being kept under review, Dr McGlynn added.

The CCG said that a new GP-led urgent care service will be operating over the winter months at St Marks to address difficulties patients have been facing with getting face-to-face appointments (see p22 for more)

The service will be accessible via GP practices and is expected to offer 800 in-person appointments a week, the CCG added.

Dr McGlynn said: “A lot has changed over the past 19 months and many health services are now provided or accessed in different ways than before the pandemic.

“The constraints of the site and limited waiting facilities mean it is not currently possible to provide walk-in services which could pose a COVID-19 infection risk to clinically vulnerable patients who are attending other services.

“What hasn’t changed is the presence of St Mark’s at the forefront of a lot of services for the people of Maidenhead and beyond, and we’re currently working with local partners to make the best possible use of the site for the benefit of residents during the pandemic.”

The CCG said it is planning to carry out a public consultation on how best to deliver its services post-pandemic and urged people to have their say when engagement events take place.

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