Nestling beside Britain’s busiest railway station, Clapham Junction Health Centre is home to one of the most innovative, patient-friendly NHS facilities found in London.
The centre provides caring, expert doctors and nurses for a list of over 5600 registered patients but what sets it aside from run-of-the-mill GP services is that registered patients can make appointments seven days a week, including in evenings and weekends, with clinicians usually available from 8am until 8pm.
The popularity of this flexible, lifestyle-friendly service is evidenced by the number of applications received from local people wanting to become a registered patient – at the moment this is running at between 120 and 140 people a month.
Manager Nav Sahota from Care UK which runs the centre on behalf of NHS Wandsworth is spearheading the charge to make Clapham Junction Health Centre a beacon of excellence when it comes to caring for NHS patients. Nav said: “Londoners lead busy, complicated lives, often involving long hours at work, expensive childcare arrangements and lots of commuting. All too often the only health services accessible in the evening or at weekends are urgent or emergency facilities. Working with our NHS commissioners, our vision was to create a health centre that makes it easy for local people to take good care of their health by increasing access to routine GP appointments. After all, identifying something like an infection or even cancer in the early stages is much easier and more cost effective to treat than leaving it until it’s a serious issue.”
As part of fulfilling this vision, Clapham Junction Health centre is now also offering a growing list of specialist health services that Londoners would otherwise have to travel to a hospital or specialist facility to make use of.
These include minor surgery for things like removing skin tags, a physiotherapy clinic treating neck and lower back pain and a podiatry service to deal with painful corns, bunions, in-grown toe nails and even prescribe corrective insoles. All of these services are also available at times of day to suit busy patients – which can often mean early in the morning, at evenings or weekends.
GPs across Wandsworth are all able to refer their patients in these specialised services and patients appreciate the convenience of not having to make their way to a nearby hospital and being able to book appointments out of normal surgery hours. The specialist services are only available to patients who have been referred by their own GP.
Clapham Junction Health Centre also provides a walk-in service for NHS patients which has proved very popular with busy commuters who take advantage of the 8am to 8pm opening for seeking treatment for everything from earaches to chlamydia testing.
Centre manager Nav Sahota continued: “I have a talented and dedicated team who make a special effort to listen to our patients and act on their feedback. For the last two months, our patient surveys have shown that 94 per cent of our patients have rated the service good, very good or excellent.”
For more information about the range of services offered by the Clapham Junction Health Centre see www.careuk.com/the-junction-health-centre