New Sheffield City Centre GP Walk-In Centre,
A Yorkshire based GP led company has been named as the preferred bidder for a new GP walk in centre in Sheffield.
One Medicare a GP led provider of Primary Care Services now goes through to the final stage of contract negotiation to provide the service.
The decision to narrow down to one from four shortlisted companies was made by NHS Sheffield's Board last week and comes after seven months of rigorous testing to ensure the highest quality of bidders.
That testing, which at the first stage was steered by a clinician-led multi-disciplinary team, includes meeting stringent clinical, financial and technological criteria.
NHS Sheffield chief executive, Jan Sobieraj, said the Board had faced a tough decision as all four shortlisted companies were of a high calibre.
He said: "The process has not only been both thorough and tough but also externally checked. The Board is confident One Medicare can provide a first class service for the people of Sheffield."
The service, which is expected to be up and running by April next year, will offer GP and nurse appointments to registered patients, as well as walk-in services to people who are not registered from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.
Dr Phillip Earnshaw, Medical Director of One Medicare said: "One Medicare is delighted to be setting up an exciting new service for Sheffield. This will be a flagship centre for One Medicare and will provide a unique service in the city centre whilst also being available for everyone in Sheffield to use. Patients will be able to walk-in and be seen on an ad hoc basis or make an appointment to see our GPs and nurses whilst remaining registered with their own GPs. As part of the government policy to offer more choice anyone in the Sheffield area can also choose to register as a patient and have their full GP services delivered from the GP Walk-in Centre. There will be an on-site pharmacy and we will be looking to develop many additional on-site services. We are well advanced in our plans ensuring that we will be ready to open in April 2009."
The centre which will be in addition to existing GP services in the city centre is being designed to take account of local needs and conditions and will provide a range of healthcare services including vaccinations and immunisations, referrals to hospital consultants where necessary and health promotion and disease prevention advice. It will also offer healthcare to homeless people.
Fifteen applications were received from organisations interested in providing the service after the scheme was advertised locally and nationally. Seven potential bidders were then shortlisted, dropping to four.
In July, a snapshot survey in Sheffield city centre showed over 85% of those questioned about the new centre said it was a good idea and over two-thirds suggested they would use the service.
The need for a city-centre health centre was one theme which emerged from last year's (07) consultation of Sheffield residents about the city's NHS services.
The survey showed that out of over 130 people 85% agreed it was a good idea, 11% disagreed and four per cent said "maybe."
The selection process carefully followed national guidance, with the support of the Yorkshire and Humber SHA
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