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The impact of co-located NHS walk-in centres on emergency departments

By Chris Salisbury, Sandra Hollinghurst, Alan Montgomery, Matthew (Professor of clinical systems design) Cooke, James F. Munro, D. (Deborah) Sharp and Melanie Chalder


Objectives:\ud To determine the impact of establishing walk-in centres alongside emergency departments\ud on attendance rates, visit duration, process, costs and outcome of care.\ud Methods:\ud Eight hospitals with co-located emergency departments and walk-in centres were compared\ud with eight matched emergency departments without walk-in centres. Site visits were\ud conducted. Routine data about attendance numbers and use of resources were analysed. A\ud random sample of records of patients attending before and after walk-in centres opened\ud were also assessed. Patients who had not been admitted to hospital were sent a postal\ud questionnaire.\ud Results:\ud In most sites, the walk-in centres did not have a distinct identity and there were few\ud differences in the way services were provided compared with control sites. Overall, there\ud was no evidence of an increase in attendance at sites with walk-in centres, but considerable\ud variability across sites. The proportion of patients managed within the four-hour NHS target\ud improved at sites both with and without walk-in centres. There was no evidence of any\ud difference in re-consultation rates, costs of care or patient outcomes at sites with or without\ud walk-in centres.\ud Conclusions:\ud Most hospitals in this study implemented the walk-in centre concept to a very limited extent.\ud Consequently there was no evidence of any impact on attendance rates, process, costs or\ud outcome of care

Topics: RA
Publisher: BMJ Group
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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