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A busy walk-in medical centre in Reading has been extended and revamped thanks to a cash injection from the NHS.

Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) received a total of £505k for the project, through NHS England’s primary care Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF) scheme and worked closely with NHS Property Services who managed the refurbishment.

The Reading Walk-In Health Centre is run by Virgin Care on behalf of Berkshire West CCG.

An additional six clinical rooms have been created within the Centre in the Broad Street Mall and the waiting area will be undergoing refurbishment.

The Centre, which opened in February 2010, is on the first floor of the Mall and is open from 8am to 8pm every day to provide treatment, information and advice on a range of minor illnesses and injuries. Staff at the centre also offer advice on issues like alcohol and drug use and contraceptive services.

There are no pre-bookable appointments at the walk-in service, and, after seeing a clinician, some patients may be referred to their own GP or other health services depending on their needs.

The centre also houses a regular GP practice with a rapidly growing patient list currently standing at 9,600 people in Reading and offering all normal GP services including cervical screening, immunisations and maternity care.

Catherine Webster, Senior Construction Lead, NHS Property Services said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment of Reading Walk-in Centre which now provides an improved clinical environment and additional capacity for an ever growing number of patients. The success of this project lies in the collaboration between Virgin Care, NHS Berkshire West CCG and NHS Property Services, especially in ensuring clinical services were not disrupted while the works were completed.”

Helen Clark from Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We’re very pleased to have received funding from NHS England for this extension and refurbishment. The Walk- In Centre is a useful part of the primary care service in Reading. We’d also remind people of the new extended hours GP service available since October across Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire. Patients can now book via their GP surgery for appointments during evenings and at weekends."

Elena Orr, the Walk in Centre’s Service Manager, Virgin Care, said: “Being able to bring patients in to an environment that is bright and cheerful is such an improvement. With our increased capacity to deal with the growing number of patients, it is nice to know that all patients are receiving the highest level of care from the moment they walk through the door.”