He said that the Trust will continue to fund a receptionist until July when the responsibility for providing the 0-19 services that they currently provide at the Wealdstone Centre is transferred to CNWL.
“Interim cover has been agreed with the CCG, until they resolve longer term arrangements. Our priority remains overseeing a smooth transfer with the minimum of disruption to patients” assures Mr Walters.
We hear concerns that the check-in for the NHS services at the centre would be closing next month which would not only lose the first point of contact for the services but also the vigil about who accesses the services, mostly offered in isolated rooms.
The check-in has a waiting area, holds the appointment list, deals with patient enquiries and directs them to the right rooms.
The NHS services offered at the centre include the diabetic eye screening, other screenings, GP requested blood test as well as health advice and support.
As far as we gather, the rooms providing these services, mostly by a single member of the staff, have no means, like a panic button, to raise an emergency alarm. This raises a question about the safety of the staff which becomes more significant once the central check-in is lost.
The centre is in High Street Wealdstone, the Harrow area which often hits headlines about violent crimes.
We have raised these matters with James Walters, deputy chief operating officer at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – watch this space for his response.
It might be appropriate for the Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to chip in and provide much needed NHS front desk at the Wealdstone Centre, once the existing one is gone. We would like to hear from the HCCG as well.