Primary Care Centres are very similar to GP surgeries, but operate on an out of hours basis. In fact, many primary care centres are run out of GP surgeries. Some are also located in the outpatients departments of hospitals.
One of the other main differences is that you need to make arrangements before going to one by calling NHS 111. Rather than giving you a specific appointment, the NHS operators will give you a timeslot. Usually patients are seen in order of arrival, unless their medical condition is urgent.
If the operator you speak to after calling NHS 111 decides that your condition will be best treated by attending a Primary Care Centre, you can expect to be seen by a GP. They will assess your condition and offer you further advice and information on how it can be best treated. Primary Care Centres are in most cases equipped with the same facilities as are found in GP surgeries. If your nearest Primary Care Centre is located in the outpatients department of a hospital, there may be access to further facilities. Depending on your condition, you can expect similar treatment to what you would receive in your local GP surgery including examinations, referrals and the distribution of prescriptions wherever necessary.
East Berkshire Primary Care operates 4 Primary Care Centres, including:
- Bracknell Healthspace, Brantsbridge
- Herschel Medical Centre, Slough
- The Outpatients Department of St Marks Hospital, Maidenhead
- The Outpatients Department of King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor
If you or others you know find yourself in need of out of hours primary care and think you may need to go to a primary care centre, please call NHS 111 and speak to an advisor.