- In 2009 Angel Medical Services was commissioned to provide a walk-in centre service which has been based at Ritchie Street Medical Centre in the south of Islington for almost ten years.
- The walk-in centre is open to all patients, whether or not they reside in Islington or are registered with an Islington GP.
- The service is staffed by a mix of GPs and nurses and is available seven days a week, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 9am to 6pm.
- With the walk-in centre contract coming to an end, Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) took the opportunity to review the way services are provided, and to determine whether funding could be used differently to better meet the needs of patients.
- Over a six-month period in 2018-19, Islington CCG undertook engagement with GP practice Patient Participation Groups and commissioned Healthwatch Islington to undertake a programme of engagement (detailed below) with residents and patients.
- Healthwatch Islington asked residents and patients what they want and need from health and care services, speaking with them about how the walk-in centre was currently meeting those needs.
Phase 1 - June-August 2018
- Islington Patient and Community Group meeting – an opportunity for residents to ask questions and comment on the planning and delivery of healthcare services
- Same day GP services patient questionnaire
- Visits to the Walk in Centre using face to face questionnaire
- GP survey
- Stakeholder mapping to identify any additional groups (this led to the setting up of a deaf focus group)
Phase 2 - October-January 2019
- Mystery shopper (testing the process of registering at 10 GP practices across the borough)
- Follow up GP practice healthcare staff survey
- Additional Walk In Centre residence for one week with structured questionnaires for unregistered and younger patients (as a result of previous engagement)
- Patients survey – versions 1 and 2 (those who have used the Walk In Centre and those who haven’t)
- Continuing visits to Practice Patient Participation Groups
- Focus group for deaf patients - 12th December 2018
Below is a summary of the key messages we heard from our engagement:
Convenience, flexibility and choice
- People want to be able to access same-day appointments, evening appointments and to be seen at the weekend.
- People want to be seen close to their home or work and to be seen in a timely manner.
- Patients said that they want to have services which are joined-up and based together, ensuring their care pathway is quick and efficient.
- They want their records to be available wherever they access their care to save telling their story more than once, and to enable medical professionals to make the right decisions, ensuring they are referred to the right place.
- Patients want services to be accessible to all, ensuring equitable care regardless of where someone is from, their socio-economic background or any disability they may have.
- A review of all of the evidence collected across both phases of engagement was carried out by an independent researcher.
You can read the review of evidence report here or by clicking on the download link on the right of the page. This review was shared with the CCG’s Governing Body and used to inform both the options developed and the final decision.
Following this engagement, the recently launched NHS Long Term Plan’s implications for primary and urgent care and the challenged financial position of north central London CCGs, Islington CCG developed further options on how services could be provided following the closure.
At the Governing Body meeting on 11th September 2019, the CCG was asked to approve one of three options on how services could be provided following the closure. The Governing Body approved option three to reinvest into primary care the majority (70%) of funding relating to Islington patients, saving the remaining portion of the service funding.