Orchard Village “Healf Center” in Rainham shuts “due to illness”

Rainham’s infirm had trouble walking into a walk-in centre on Friday – after it shut “due to illness”.

Residents approaching the Orchard Village Centre on the Mardyke Estate were greeted with a sign proclaiming “sorry but due to illness this healf center [sic] is closed today”.

Services at the walk-in centre are commissioned by NHS North-East London and the City (NELC).

A spokesman for NHS NELC said a clinician had called in sick late on Thursday evening – and her replacement was stuck in traffic for three hours on Friday.

“We take this very seriously and have investigated the circumstances around last Friday’s temporary closure,” the spokesman said. “We are absolutely clear that services for patients should never be disrupted to this extent by incidents such as staff sickness.

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“The walk-in centre is provided by the Hurley Group and we have discussed their responsibilities with them and have asked for their assurance that this will not happen again.”

He added a nurse practitioner and a GP were drafted into the walk-in centre, which re-opened at lunchtime on Friday.

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Orchard Village is normally staffed by one receptionist and a clinician.

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