Patients can now get treated on their way to office or back home, with the launch of unique walk-in-service centers at London Liverpool Street and Manchester Piccadilly train stations. This patient friendly system eliminates the need for a prior appointment and can be availed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Such a specialized NHS service would not have been possible if not for the request of the general public, demanding a quick and convenient health care facility, according to Patricia Hewitt, Health Secretary. She also highlighted that the extended working hours of a majority of banks and supermarkets that had won the appreciation of several customers.
It has been proposed to establish four other similar services at King's Cross and Victoria train stations and Canary Wharf in London, and at Newcastle and Leeds stations. Visitors to these centers can get treated for minor ailments and can avail prescription services. It is anticipated that nearly 180 patients would visit each of the center, on a daily basis.
The advantage of meeting a doctor or nurse without a prior appointment would save a lot of time and make the whole process simple. In addition, it would to a large extent reduce the pressure faced by general practitioners (GPs) and Accident and Emergency (A & E) department.
The new facility is just one representation of the Government's initiative to provide easy health care access to the general public. Other such facilities are expected to come up soon. It has also been proposed to give nurses and pharmacists the additional responsibility of prescribing medicines and requesting doctors plan for open surgeries during the weekend.
With such issues currently under consideration, a dramatic improvement in the existing National Health Services (NHS) is likely to happen soon.