An NHS walk-in centre in Norwich could shut its doors as health bosses reveal plans for a shake-up of services.

Patients in need of health care are currently able to access it through the centre in Rouen Road, whether they are signed up with a GP surgery or not.

However, with One Norwich Practices' contract to run the facility due to expire in March next year, its future is now in doubt.

Norwich Evening News:

As health bosses consider whether or not to renew the contract, a consultation has begun which could see the centre permanently closed.

Commissioners at NHS Norfolk and Waveney are discussing three potential options for when the contract expires - two of which will see the walk-in centre cease to be in its current form.

The contract is currently tied in with one that also provides the Rouen Road GP practice and the city's vulnerable adult service (VAS).

And while all three options see the retention of the GP practice and the VAS, the walk-in centre is in jeopardy.

Norwich Evening News: The NHS Walk-In Centre in Rouen House, Rouen Road, Norwich

The options are:

  1. Renew the contract, keeping the centre open as normal
  2. Renew the contract, but close the walk-in centre
  3. Renew the contract, but replace the walk-in centre with a remodelled service


Should commissioners opt for the third option, they would then look to design a new way of providing the care offered at the walk-in centre.

However, they are yet to finalise what this would look like as feedback from the consultation is due to inform this.

Sadie Parker, director of primary care for NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: "We are looking at the options for how general practice services are delivered in the greater Norwich area when the current contract comes to an end in spring 2024.

"Hearing from current users of the Norwich walk-in centre and patients using the GP practice at Rouen Road, as well as the wider Norwich community, will be essential in helping us to do that.

"I encourage everyone to take part in this consultation exercise to not only provide feedback on the options that we've put forward, but also to share your insight and experiences of general practice services to help inform how they are delivered in the greater Norwich area."

Bosses say that keeping the walk-in centre open is "not in line with NHS policy" and that "the model of care no longer provides the best value of money".

However, they also acknowledge that it provides support for GP practices experiencing capacity issues.

Figures show that the centre deals with approximately 5,666 appointments per month - around 1pc of all appointments across Norfolk and Waveney.

But those who do use the centre are being urged to share their experiences so health leaders can make an informed decision on whether or not to close it.

Norwich Evening News: Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, echoed these pleas.

He said: "It is vital that everyone has their say so that a decision can be made based on rich and detailed public feedback when the current contract runs out at the end of March next year.

"NHS Norfolk and Waveney is urging all communities to get involved and we would echo that.

"Meanwhile, we have been working with the Norwich walk-in centre gathering the feedback of patients and those who use it, and we are aiming to publish that report, along with its recommendations, imminently."

The walk-in centre has been at its current location in Rouen House since June 2015.

Previously, the NHS facility was located on the fourth floor of what was then Castle Mall, now known as Castle Quarter. 

The public consultation, which opened on Tuesday, is due to run for two months, closing on Sunday, March 26.

People can participate in the consultation either virtually, or by completing a survey which is being made available in the centre itself and the Rouen Road GP practice.

The online version can be found at