Coventry West MidlandsFirst Aid

Coventry NHS Walk-in Centre

We had to visit the Coventry NHS Walk-In centre last night, fortunately nothing too serious. This is only the second time I’ve ever been to a walk-in centre, but I have advised others to go along to one.

If you don’t know what a walk-in centre is, these are places where you can go and see a qualified nurse, without an appointment both during and out of normal office hours.

The NHS website describes these as:
“There are currently 66 NHS Walk-in Centres throughout England. They offer fast and convenient access to healthcare advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. They are open from early morning to late evening, seven days a week. They are run by experienced NHS nurses, and you don’t need to make an appointment.”

I’m not sure about the fast bit, but they are certainly convenient especially if you can’t get to your GP during normal business hours, and provide a useful alternative to visiting Accident and Emergency if the injury is only minor.

In total it took us about 2 hours, but that included visiting the pharmacy afterwards. I’d guess we spent about 1 hour 45 minues at the centre including waiting time and the time spent with the nurse.

The one at Coventry is on the grounds of the Coventry and Warwickshire hospital near the city centre. It’s next to the ambulance only sliproad from the ringroad, and you drive past it if you drive towards the hospital from the ring road at junction 2. As this was later than the normal hospital appointments there was plenty of parking available, but during busy times you may want to use the car park visible from the junction 1 roundabout of the ring road. Check any time restrictions if using onstreet parking as I’ve been caught out before by one of the roads only allowing you to park on one side of the road during the morning and the other in the afternoon (my only ever parking ticket).

From the outside the building looks like a small temporary building, and still retains that feel when you enter the first section. When you get through the locked doors it gets a lot nicer.

When you arrive, you first fill in an A4 booking form, which you hand in and then take your seat. The waiting room here is pretty bad with a inaudiable TV in one corner. You normally wait in that area before being sent into the second waiting area, however due to the lack of seats we were allowed straight through to the other waiting area. The second waiting area is much, much better than the first. There is a small area for young children, with a TV showing childrens programmes such as “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “The Wiggles”, and some books. Then there was a much bigger area further round with a large TV showing terrestrial TV and a cold drink vending machine. The one thing that did surprise me was a Teenage Zone, including 4 playstations and an Apple Computer which I think had Internet access. The computer was in use when we were there, but nobody was using the play stations. This was a very good idea as I remember as a child that visits to the hospital and GP were extremely boring whilst waiting to be seen. In fact it doesn’t get any more interesting as an adult!

Eventually we were called out and told to go to one of the consulting rooms where we were seen by a nurse and given some advice.

Why not find out where your nearest walk-in centre is and consider it as an alternative when you next need advice / treatment for a minor illness or injury.