The continued closure of walk-in centres could increase pressure on A&E departments already in the midst of a winter crisis, internal NHS data has revealed.
This is despite public claims from NHS trusts that closing walk-in centres will have a “minimal impact” on emergency wards.
A freedom of information request (FOI) seen by HuffPost UK has revealed the results of an investigation by the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, which serves the Greater Manchester area, into the potential fallout of closing a centre in Bury.
The trust found that between March 2013 and March 2016, 22% of the almost 99,000 patients who attended the centre in that time would have gone to A&E if the walk-in centre didn’t exist – even though just 0.04% had a medical problem that warranted doing so.
That would mean a potential 7,406 extra people every year seeking emergency treatment at A&E when it was only necessary in three cases.'