Agenda item

Windmill Hill Access Centre


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities which gave Members an update on the recent Patient and Public consultation regarding the potential closure of the nurse led Windmill Hill Access Centre.


The Board was advised that a report had previously been submitted to Halton & St Helens PCT Clinical Commissioning Committee in October 2010 and to the Finance Performance Approvals Committee on 27th April 2011.


The Board was further advised that prior to 1997 the residents of Windmill Hill had access to a singled

handed GP practice for their health needs. However, when the GP had left, the existing patient list had been distributed between Castlefields and Murdishaw practices.


Ms Chris Turner, Halton & St Helens PCT and Ms Elaine McDowell, Bridgewater, Halton and St Helens division were in attendance at the meeting to present the report.  They reported that the Windmill Access Centre had been introduced and provided a limited service to the residents of Windmill Hill. This service, which is delivered by Bridgewater Community Health Services staff, is open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) and people access the service by telephoning for an appointment time.  However, if they arrived without an appointment they could wait to be seen by a nurse.


Since opening, the access centre had provided health care for people who had coughs, sore throats, rashes, and many other minor illnesses. However, people who had more complex or long term conditions required the continuity provided by their own GP.


On the 29th January 2010 the new Equitable Access GP practice had been opened to the residents of Windmill Hill, and now had a list size of 1173 patients. The new GP practice provided an enhanced service to that available

at Windmill Hill Access Centre. For example: Women’s Health Clinic, Well Woman Clinic, Well Man Clinic, Mother & Baby Clinic,Travel Health, Smoking Cessation, Phlebotomy, Respiratory Clinic and many more.  There had also been an increase in the opening hours and the facility was available  seven days a week.


In January 2011 the PCT  had completed a three month consultation with the residents of Windmill Hill regarding the access centre.  The results from the consultation highlighted the need for access to health care. It was proposed to close the nurse led access centre from 1 August 2011.


The following comments arose from the discussion:-


·     The Members noted that the Member for the Windmill Hill ward was not in attendance at the meeting;


·        It was noted that there would be no job losses as a result of the changes;


·        Clarity was sought on how the changes would be communicated to the community.  In response, it was reported that the Primary Care Trust would be developing a full communication plan to ensure the community were aware of the changes.  In addition, patients had already been registered at Murdishaw and Castlefield surgeries; and


·        It was noted that the new GP centre was fully accessible for people with disabilities.




(1)          the report and comments raised be noted; and


(2)          Ms Turner and Ms McDowell be thanked for their verbal presentation.

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