25 August 2020

New nurse-led Walk-in Centre opens today in Dickson

| Dominic Giannini
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The Inner North Walk-in Centre

The Inner North Walk-in Centre opened its doors this morning (26 August). Photo: Region Media.

The nurse-led Inner North Walk-in Centre opened in Dickson today. The centre is part of the $10 million Dickson Community Health Centre redevelopment and will employ 16 extra nurses and four administrative staff at an operating cost of $8 million until 2022-23.

It’s the fifth Walk-in Centre to open in Canberra – joining centres at Tuggeranong, Weston Creek, West Belconnen and Gungahlin – and is designed to help take pressure off emergency rooms across the ACT.

More than 282,000 patients have been treated at the four centres since 2014, with 67,000 presenting last year alone.

READ ALSO Emergency waiting times in Canberra the worst in Australia

The Clinical Nurse Manager at the centre, Anne Douglas, has been working to ensure that the centre was ready to open its doors at 7:30 am for its first patients.

“I’m really excited to be working with this team of nurses. They are incredibly well prepared for the role,” the former nurse manager at the COVID-19 testing site at EPIC told Region Media.

“Our nurse practitioners are all educated at Masters level and the advanced practice nurses have years of clinical experience.

Nursing manager Anne Douglas

Nursing manager at the new Walk-in Centre at Dickson Anne Douglas. Photo: Supplied.

“We can see from the increase in the number of people accessing the Walk-in Centres that it’s a very popular model in the ACT. People are obviously finding the service really great and are wanting to use it.”

Walk-in Centres provide treatment for minor injuries and illnesses to help relieve the pressure on Canberra’s emergency departments which have recorded the lowest rates of patients being seen on time in Australia.

READ ALSO Patience the key for new Walk-in Centre at Dickson

Only 46 per cent of patients were seen within the designated timeframes in the ACT, compared with 71 per cent nationally.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has conceded there is more work to be done in the Territory’s health system as the government presses ahead with its signature health projects including the Canberra Hospital expansion, as well as the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children expansion.

READ MORE Barr names builder for $500 million Canberra Hospital expansion

The inner-north Walk-in Centre is located at 111 Dickson Place, Dickson and is open seven days a week between 7:30 am and 10:00 pm. For more information about health services in the ACT, visit ACT Health.

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