"Walk-in centre wasn't free"

About: Walk in Centre

(as a friend),

One weekend in November, a friend of mine was in a lot of pain with her gums. She felt unable to wait until the Monday when normal services would be open, so she went to an NHS Walk -In Centre on London Road in Nottingham. Apparently, this resource is managed by Nottingham City Care. Too my friends amazement and despair, she was told she would have to pay £18. 50 for a consultation, and this was even before staff at the Walk-In Centre knew what her problem was.

Luckily for my friend, she was in a position to pay the fee requested, but was firstly confused about being asked for a payment at the centre; secondly she was concerned about what would happen to people who were not in a position too pay. When my friend told me about what had transpired, I was also concerned, and told my friend about Patient Opinion. It was then (about 2-3 weeks ago) that I thought I had posted the story on your website. Having realised this may not be the case, I made an enquiry of the NHS staff member who gave me your e mail address.

May I say, not only am I, as was my friend, concerned and dismayed about the demand for payment by the Walk-In Centre, but I know that the London Road Walk-In Centre is very close too the Nottingham homeless shelter, and also a "dry house" used by people with substance misuse issues. I know a lot of those people use the Walk-In centre at London Road. What will happen if those people (or indeed anyone else) seek help without the means to pay? I also thought the walk-in centres were meant to be a free, non emergency service.

I, as my friend and the NHS staff member I consulted today, feel sufficiently concerned and strongly enough to want to pursue this matter via yourselves. I hope you do not mind me e mailing your in this way.

My friend still has the receipt for the £18. 50 payment she made, should this need to be seen.

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