A HEALTH centre may lose its 8am to 8pm walk-in service completely according to plans put forward by NHS Haringey.

The extended hours walk-in service at The Laurels Healthy Living Centre was stopped in September when GPs at the practice decided to hand back the contract to the health trust.

The decision was blamed on financial difficulties after the collapse of the Camidoc out-of-hours care contract which was intrinsically linked to the Harringay health centre.

Dilo Lalande, head of partnerships and stakeholders at NHS Haringey, told this newspaper in November that the situation was a “financial matter” and added: “In terms of care, there should be no change for patients.”

He also said the out-of-hours walk-in service, which has also been axed at Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre, should be back in place by March.

However, in papers considered yesterday by the trust board, one of the options being looked at is to ditch the service altogether, replacing it with longer surgery opening times and use the space at the Laurels, in St Ann's Road, to move services out of hospitals and into the community.

Assessing the Laurels walk-in service usage, the paper said: “The majority of people attending did so with minor illness. From the data that is available it is thought that the majority of these could have been attended to at the general practices where they were registered.

“The majority of patients who were seen in the Laurels were from the Laurels Medical Practice which is the other practice in the building.

“The evaluation showed that the GP led health centre had created additional access points and to a small extent false additional demand.”

It went on to suggest the 8am to 8pm walk-in service is “not justified”, but is keeping all options open for a consultation on the future of the health centre which started yesterday and runs until the end of the year.

A scrutiny panel at Haringey Council has penciled in plans to analyse the situation at the Laurels on Monday from 3pm, to determine what has gone awry with the service.

It will also investigate a pharmacy plan for the health centre, which was rejected in January by the council and then passed in September under special guidelines.