Harrow’s remaining walk-in centres could make the transition to appointment-only to “improve patient access” to services.

The borough’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) is considering the move at the Pinn Medical Centre, in Love Lane, Pinner, and Belmont Health Centre, in Kenton Lane, Stanmore.

It would follow on from the decision to change the walk-in services at Alexandra Avenue Health Centre to appointment-only, which came into effect in November.

Harrow CCG explained that the transition – which is part of a wider NHS initiative – reduces waiting times, improves patient safety and, since GPs have access to patient notes, ensures the continuity of care.

It added that the initial feedback from the new set-up at Alexandra Avenue has been positive, with 60 per cent of survey respondents who previously used the walk-in centre describing it as an improvement.

Javina Seghal, managing director at Harrow CCG, said the aim is to address health inequalities in the borough and prevent waiting times associated with walk-in centres.

“We want the local NHS to be as adaptive as possible to patient needs, and pre-bookable appointments ensure that people can access a GP at the right time that suits them,” she said.

She added that the CCG must use “every Harrow pound wisely” and ensure that residents are getting the best access to care that funding will allow.

The decision to switch to appointment-only at Alexandra Avenue was criticised by Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas, who also received a petition against this on behalf of community group #Fixit Harrow.

A similar petition was launched following concerns around the Pinn, but the CCG said it was important to explain that things should in fact improve.

It vowed to engage with the community, and the local authority, on the consideration, after some Harrow councillors criticised what they saw as a “lack of consultation” over the Alexandra Avenue move.

And it reiterated the fact that the new access centres will only be available to those registered with a Harrow GP – those in neighbouring Brent would have to visit a surgery in their borough.