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Walk-in centres quite clueless

From Dr Diana Lowry

Epping, Essex

I quite agree with Phil Peverley's comments on NHS walk-in centres (Columnists,

16 March). Several months ago one of my patients, an eight-year-old girl, was taken to one with a swelling in her neck.

Two nurses prodded and poked, admitted they had no idea what it was, and told her to see her GP as soon as possible. The next morning she came to see me: the girl had an obvious goitre and a family history of diabetes and myxoedema.

I did my level best to reassure her mother that it really wasn't anything to worry about. Her TFTs were normal, but mother had been made so anxious that she insisted on referral. The hospital confirmed she had a goitre with normal thyroid function and, unable to totally reassure her, agreed to follow her up at regular intervals. Presumably her parents will eventually be reassured that all is well.

Can someone tell me why the Government thinks walk-in centres are a good idea?!

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