Health centre patient numbers on the up

Nearly 2,000 patients have registered with the Castle Health Centre in York Place since it opened three years ago, a report shows.

The report, which also highlighted the increasing numbers of walk-in patients, came under the spotlight yesterday during a meeting at Scarborough’s Town Hall.

Members of the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee had chance to discuss the report, which was written by Lorraine Naylor, assistant director of primary care at North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust.

Ms Naylor explained that the centre, which opened in Scarborough in October 2009, had come about following an NHS review by Lord Darzi.

The review stated that despite sustained investment and improvement in the NHS over the past 10 years, access to primary medical care services and the quality of those services continued to vary significantly across the country.

Lord Darzi’s report also identified improving access to primary care as a key priority to deliver “more personalised care that meets the needs of individuals and communities, especially those in more disadvantaged or deprived areas”.

With this in mind, the centre opened its doors three years ago. Initially it was based at the Rainbow Centre in Auborough Street, then the centre moved to York Place when the new premises were ready in July 2012.

Figures show that in October and November 2009, figures for walk-in patients were at around 250 per month, rising to 500 in March 2010.

This had risen to over 1,000 by June 2010 and within a year of opening, figures were at more than 2,000 walk-in patients per month.

The numbers, which tend to peak each summer, have now dipped to around 1,400 following the end of the holiday season.

Numbers of registered patients have also grown, from just 200 in December 2009 to 1,900 to date.

Dr David Ames, clinical director, said: “In the first three years the centre has registered more patients than expected and we’ve had really good feedback from patients.”

He added: “The contract is due to end in two years’ time and it will be up to the commissioners to decide what happens. It will not be one person’s decision and services will be put out to tender again.”