Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group Urgent Care Consultations Questionnaire Survey: Dudley Borough Walk-in Centre Russells Hall Hospital Accident and EmergencyDownload (PDF 740KB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Dudley undertook a questionnaire survey at the Dudley Borough Walkin Centre and Russells Hall Hospital Accident and Emergency on behalf of the Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (DCCG) as part of its review of Urgent Care services. In total 943 patients (or their representatives) participated in the questionnaire survey. Nearly nine in ten were registered with a doctors surgery and 57% indicated that they travelled straight to the Walk-in Centre or Accident and Emergency without getting any medical advice.
When patients were asked about whether they had tried to contact a doctor’s surgery before coming to the Walk-in Centre or Accident and Emergency 57% of those who had given said they had not tried to contact a doctors surgery. Nearly one in three of those who had obtained medical advice were referred on to the Walk-in Centre or Accident and Emergency by a doctor’s surgery.
Patients were concerned about the proposal to close the Walk-in Centre which is popular and fills a gap in primary care service provision (especially for patients unable to get an appointment at a doctors surgery). Any new facility to replace the Walk-in Centre would need to consider patient issues relating to its location and accessibility, the types of services provided, and car parking issues.
It is a mixed picture regarding patient perceptions of whether a doctor’s surgery could have helped them if they had been able to get an appointment and in terms of patients’ past experience of getting into a doctor’s surgery. Nevertheless, 48% of patients said they would be happy to be referred back to a doctor’s surgery for treatment after assessment at the Walk-in Centre or Accident and Emergency. Meanwhile, there is a demand from particular patients’ groups for seven day opening of doctors’ surgeries, longer opening hours, shorter waiting times for appointments, and more same day appointments. Questions arise about how to get patients who are using the Walk-in Centre and where it is appropriate Accident and Emergency to use doctors’ surgeries and avoid simply shifting patients around without dealing with underlying problems around access to doctors’ surgeries.