Commuters walk past clinics
Commuter walk-in clinics in railway stations are operating far below capacity, Government figure show.
Manchester Piccadilly's centre, run by Atos Origin, saw just 2,000 patients in its first two months of operation 48 a day.
The centre at London Liverpool Street, run by General Medical Clinics, saw 52 patients a day yet both centres are contracted to see up to 180 patients a day.
Lord Warner, health minister, boasted last week that two-thirds of commuters would use the service if they felt ill.
He said: 'This is the direction we want the NHS to take, particularly for those who live their lives in two centres.'
But Dr Peter Fink, secretary of Manchester LMC, was not surprised at the lack of demand.
He said: 'We believed that if there was that demand from commuters it should be dealt with where they come from.'
Dr George Rae, secretary of the LMC in Newcastle and North Tyneside, where another commuter clinic will open soon, had strong reservations about whether there was sufficient demand. He said: 'I don't see it working at full throttle. A lot of GPs said they could have provided a service if given the same resources.'