The ‘reopening’ date for walk-in service at Bracknell’s Brants Bridge health centre has been confirmed as questions remain over the level of service that will be provided.

Brants Bridge, which is officially known as the Bracknell Healthspace, will reopen as a walk-in centre on Monday, July 19. 

Walk-in centres allow people to see health professionals without an appointment and without being registered with a GP.

The date was given as one of the possible reopening dates during a meeting of Bracknell Forest Council’s overview and scrutiny commission.

READ MORE: Covid lab planned for Brants Bridge among Bracknell planning applications

There was the potential that the walk-in centre would be opening tomorrow on Thursday, July 15, but this has been delayed to make sure that Brants Bridge is fully staffed.

The reopening date was confirmed by the NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

It will be open for walk-in patients seven days a week, from 8am-8pm.

A spokersperson for the CCG said:  “The service had previously suspended walk-in appointments at the start of the pandemic to reduce the risks of Covid-19 to both patients and staff.

“Throughout that period a dedicated booking system was introduced with access to the minor injury service via NHS 111, with all appointments being provided based on a patient’s assessed clinical need.

“As well as through 111, the minor injury service now also can be booked via your own GP practice which will help avoid long waiting times.”

The walk-in centre has reopened to treat minor injuries, which are listed as:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Suspected broken limbs
  • Minor head injuries
  • Cuts and grazes
  • Bites and stings
  • Minor scalds and burns
  • Skin infections

Anyone with a life threatening condition should call 999.

Dr Lalitha Iyer, Medical Director at NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re delighted that we are now in a position to reopen the minor injury service for both walk-in and booked appointments via their GP.”

Members of the public can seek advice for minor illnesses such as coughs or colds, from their pharmacists, NHS 111 or contact through your GP.

There are questions over the level of service provided at the centre. Brants Bridge was opened as an urgent care centre in 2014.

However, councillor Tony Virgo (Conservative) has expressed a fear that the service has been downgraded.

“Us on the council fought hard to get an urgent care centre. Bracknell is now a rather big place and it has no hospital.

“A few years ago I was pretty ill, I couldn’t get an appointment with my doctor, so I went into the urgent care centre.

“I was assessed by a doctor who sent me in an ambulance to Frimley Hospital with oxygen. The doctor acted so quickly and efficiently.”

READ MORE: Patients in Bracknell vent frustrations over lack of services at Brants Bridge

Cllr Virgo said that in order for Brants Bridge to qualify as an urgent care, it needs to have a doctor on site.

He said: “I  think that nurses are brilliant, but there’s a difference in medical ability. A doctor should be there when you need real help.

“This was opened for a reason, for people who may be injured with their hands bleeding, or if they’ve just been involved in accident, that’s what the urgent care centre was for.”

Bracknell News: Bracknell Healthspace in Brants Bridge, Bracknell.Bracknell Healthspace in Brants Bridge, Bracknell.

When asked whether a doctor will be present at Brants Bridge when it reopens, a spokesman for Frimley Health CCG said only that the centre will be appropriately staffed for the provision of a minor injury service.

While care at Brants Bridge is provided by the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, care at the centre is planned and paid for by the Frimley CCG.

Frimley CCG was founded on Thursday, April 1, following the merger of three East Berkshire, North East Hampshire and Farnham and Surrey Heath CCGs.