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Last Updated: Monday, 5 December 2005, 06:37 GMT
Walk-in health unit goes hi-tech
A walk-in medical centre is to link up with a 3bn NHS computer network in a bid to reduce paper work.

The move will mean patients at Doctor Piper House in Darlington will no longer have to keep filling in time-consuming registration forms.

From January, all their details will be available at the touch of a button.

Darlington Primary Care Trust hopes the link-up will make the centre more efficient, reduce patient waiting times and improve services.

Head of IT at Darlington PCT, Anthony Bryan, said: "When the walk-in centre is seeing 100 people a day, saving a few minutes here and there can have a major impact."


More than 17,000 people have visited the clinic since it opened in January.

The concept of walk-in centres originated in America and was brought to the UK by Darlington MP Alan Milburn when he was health secretary.

They are designed to relieve some of the pressure on GPs and hospital accident and emergency departments by treating minor conditions.

The clinic, the first purpose-built one in the North, has also become the hub of many primary care services such as angina, enuresis and sexual health clinics, as well as healthy baby, immunisation and stop smoking sessions.

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