Value of Walk-In Centre Programme Proved in Newcastle

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The patient, who cannot be named, was on a month-long secondment for business in Newcastle when she discovered a lump in her breast.

She had a severe family history of breast cancer - her mother had had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy and other members of her family had suffered from the condition - and she was understandably worried and concerned.

"The patient came to see us on a Thursday evening," said Teresa McKillop from the Walk-In Centre. "Within 45 minutes we had assessed her condition, explained it to her, reassured her, called the Breast Cancer Unit at Newcastle General Hospital and secured an appointment for her on the following Tuesday, printed off her notes and faxed them to the consultant."

She added: "By working closely with our colleagues elsewhere in the NHS, we were able to reassure our patient and set her on a path of treatment - even though her own GP was based hundreds of miles away. We were also able to arrange for her to be seen well within the two week Government target for cancerous lumps."

The Newcastle Central NHS Walk-In Centre is run by Care UK contracted by the Department of Health. It is one of a number of independently run NHS Walk-In Centres that were introduced to provide easy access primary care to people in areas where they live and work. Care UK also runs NHS Walk-In Centres in Dagenham in Essex, and Victoria and Stamford Hill in London.

The Newcastle Central NHS Walk-In Centre is open between 7.00am and 7.00pm, Monday to Friday. No appointment is necessary. More information is available by calling 0191 233 3670.

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