Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare

Canberra Australia’s capital city leads the way with access to free at the point of use health care, at one of its growing numbers of Walk-In Centre’s. The concept started as a project founded on the United Kingdom’s NHS model of care for Nurse led treatment facilities.   However, has developed into a valued and heavily utilized health hub for the Canberra community.  

If you are having a medical emergency dial 000

The population of Canberra is increasing every year, and the Government identified a need for free access to health care for this growing community. The Walk-In Centre’s offer this gateway to health and can help or signpost their patients to the most suitable health professional to ensure their health needs are optimally met.

What Canberra’s Walk-in Centre’s don’t DO!

Based on the sign at the main entrance to the Walk-In Centre let’s take a look at some things they don’t offer. 

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare
  1. Treatment of children under 2 years of age see a DR
  2. Treatment for complex health conditions goes without say MINOR INJURIES AND ILLNESSES 
  3. Treatment following a motor vehicle accident I would look at going to the emergency department depending on your symptoms at the very least for minor non-symptomatic assessment sees a GP. 
  4. Treatment following an injury at work needs a good Dr to help you back to work as quickly as possible.
  5. Injections for chronic illnesses see a DR
  6. Immunizations talk to your GP
  7. Ongoing care and routine blood tests see a DR
  8. Referrals to medical specialists see a DR
  9. Refilling prescriptions see a DR

medical certificates or Worker’s Compensation forms So by the looks of the signage it’s clear they offer free health care for minor injuries only, and it is likely legislative reasons as to why the above are excluded from their model of care. That being said it makes sense as the Walk-in Centre is a community facility they will lack the diagnostic capability of hospitals. So any serious injuries, chest pains, anaphylaxis or anything that you think is a medical emergency CALL 000 immediately.

What can the Walk-in Centres do

Walk-in Centres are designed for minor injury and illnesses and offer a range of services, they have a team of Advanced Practice Nurses and Nurse Practitioners who can assist with your healthcare needs. Taken from the Walk-in Centre official website:

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare
  • Cold and flu – Well this one obvious, but be aware Flu can make you very sick and remember prevention is better than cure, good hand washing, and if you are sick better stay home than infecting others. 
  • Sinusitis – Sinusitis can be Viral or Bacterial, let a skilled clinician decide your treatment, antibiotics should be the last choice, not first.
  • Tonsillitis – Tonsillitis can be viral and can be bacterial if its bacterial it’s usually caused by Group A Strep, let one of the expert nurses check you out and make the call.
  • Ear Infection (Otitis Media) – Can be bloody painful but antibiotics are not always the answer, better get an assessment and work towards a treatment plan.
  • Swimmers Ear – Some antibiotic ear drops can help clear this problem up, be sure to get checked out, be aware treatments vary based on the clinical examination, let the health professional decide.  
  • Lacerations – Deep wounds with any signs of underlying structural involvement will likely need to go to the emergency department, but minor wounds and lacerations should be no issue for the Walk-In Centre Nurses.
  • Sprains and Strains – Had a trip of fall and hobbling around the Walk-in centre is a great first port of call, they can even do a small range of X-Rays for limbs, toes, knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows if required.
  • Rashes and rash identification – Have an insect bite or other red rashes you need checking out then you’re in the right place. (IF YOU HAVE ANY BREATHING DIFFICULTIES OR OTHER SIGNS ANAPHYLAXIS CALL 000)
  •  Minor wound infections – Speaks for itself, red, warm tracking, but without systemic symptoms such as fever, let the nurses have a look.
  • Mild Gastroenteritis – You can tolerate fluids but need a few days sick leave, any severe abdominal pain, blood mixed in with poop, etc should be seen at an emergency department.
  • Urinary Tract Infections – I would suspect this is female only and without any renal issues, to fit into the Walk-In Centres model of care. Men often need more diagnostics than women.
  • Mastitis – Last thing you need is sore boobs, a crying baby and a fever, the Walk-In centre team will check you out and provide antibiotics if there is a clinical need.
  • Conjunctivitis – Nobody wants a weeping eye, however, eyes are super important to use, should you have exudates from the eye or it’s just irritated likely the Walk-In centre can off an opinion. If you have vision changes, severe pain or any risk of a penetrating injury I would head directly to an emergency department.
  • Minor limb fractures – I would say here if pain intolerable head to ED as the Walk-in centres from what I have read online only offer paracetamol or ibuprofen for analgesia, however as above they do offer service on limbs knee and below and elbow and below.
  • Impetigo – Nasty looks skin sores, get them checked out at the Walk-In Centre’s and the Nurses will give treatment if needed.
  • Wound dressing – Have a wound that needs dressing the nurse can help out, if I needed my dressing done there, I would likely bring the plan from my GP so they know what’s happening, or alternatively link myself in with Canberra excellent wound care service via community health intake.
  • Ear Wax Removal – Needs your ears irrigated, full with wax? The Walk-In Centre can offer support with that, according to Patient.info you may require 3-5 days softening before irrigation is attempted, so don’t be to upset if you have to come back another day for the procedure to be performed safely, also if you have any ear pain I would go to the Dr’s if I were you, as I don’t want a popped eardrum additional to a waxy ear canal.
  • Emergency Contraception – Condom broke, it’s no joke, got a little carried away, they have you covered, just remember every day that goes by will reduce the efficacy of the medication so hours count.  If engaging with a new partner, starting or ending a relationship always get yourself checked out with Canberra Sexual Health 02 5124 2184.
  • Screen for chlamydia – My first preference would be Canberra Sexual Heath for this one, as it’s prudent to be tested for a wider range of conditions, however, looks like the Walk-In Centre team can perform this test.
  • Nail Bed Injury – Not sure about this one, that’s usually depending on severity seen by a plastic surgeon, the Nurse however I am sure would point you in the right direction.
  • Blood Glucose checking – Need a spot check see the nurses, for any chronic of ongoing issues, see your GP.
  • Sick or Carers letter – Like me I hate paying $80 fee to see my GP for a day off with a cold, the free at the point of use Walk-In Centre’s can offer both Carer and Sick letter based on if you need one. Just be aware you will need to actually be sick not pulling a fast one, however they are sick letters and not medical certificates. However, Employers can accept Walk-In Centre certificates by law but may choose not to at their discretion.

The Walk-In centres also have highly skilled and professional Nurse Practitioners; they offer services above and beyond the list above (which is not exhaustive just based on their website). For entry-level health care, this initiative is generous, free at the point of use and growing demand the Walk-In Centre’s are set to thrive for years to come along with Canberra diverse and growing community.

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare

Walk-In Centre Locations around Canberra

There are currently 3 open Wal-In Centres operating at strategic locations across Canberra more are rumored online to be opening in the future Weston Creek Walk-in Centre coming in 2019. But for now here are the three locations:

Tuggeranong Walk-in Centre

Tuggeranong Community Health Centre,

Anketell St &,

Pitman St,

Greenway ACT 2900

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Location Tuggeranong

Belconnen Walk-In Centre

56 Lathlain St, Belconnen ACT 2617

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Location Belconnen

Gungahlin Walk-in Centre

1/57 Ernest Cavanagh St, Gungahlin ACT 2912

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre ​Gungahlin

Operating Hours of the Canberra Walk-In Centre’s

The Walk-In Centre’s around Canberra offers very generous and convenient opening times of 07:30 am to 22:00 pm this is every day of the year. Yes, you heard correct every single day Christmas day, Easter, Anzac day every day, thanks to the dedicated Nursing and admin team keeping these centres operating all year round and offering friendly convenient HealthCare.

Canberra Walk-In Centres a Valuable Community Resource

As every one of us who lives in Canberra knows getting into a Dr can be a nightmare, the Walk-In centre is one answer to the shortage of General Practitioners in Canberra, While they certainly don’t replace the role of DR’s nor do they pretend to  they do offer a valuable resource for emergent minor medical conditions.

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare

My family members have used the Walk-In centres and the finding are that they felt unrushed, listened to and while the health problems are not able to always be solved, they feel valued. Also, the nursing team will make sure you know what you need to do even in the event they cannot help you.  So next time you’re in Canberra of unable to get in with a GP, or don’t have a GP, see a highly skilled Nurse at one of Canberra Walk-In Centre’s.

Alternatives to Walk-In Centre In hours (Bulk Billing)

This list is in no way exhaustive, however, offers some locations on Bulk Billing GP’s at a few locations across Canberra

Tuggeranong Bulk Billing DR’s

Hyperdome Medical Centre

Southpoint Shopping Centre, Anketell St &, Reed St S, ACT 2900

Phone: (02) 6293 3233

Opening Hours:

Friday                   7am–6:30pm

Saturday              9am–4pm

Sunday                 9am–4pm

Monday               7am–6:30pm

Tuesday               7am–6:30pm

Wednesday        7am–6:30pm

Thursday             7am–6:30pm

Belconnen Bulk Billing Drs and Medical Centres

Tristar Medical Group Bruce

11/100 Eastern Valley Way, Bruce ACT 2617

Phone: (02) 6253 5444

Opening Hours:

Friday                   9am–6pm

Saturday              Closed

Sunday                 10am–5pm

Monday               9am–6pm

Tuesday               9am–6pm

Wednesday        9am–6pm

Thursday             9am–6pm

After Hours GP Canberra Non-Bulk Billing

CALMS Southside Surgery

The Canberra Hospital, Yamba Dr, Garran ACT 2065

Phone: 1300 422 567

Operating Hours (Weekdays)     8.00pm – 11.00pm

Operating Hours (Weekend & Public Holidays) 10.00am – 11.00pm

CALMS Northside Surgery

60 Mary Potter Circuit, Bruce ACT 2617

Phone: 1300 422 567

Operating Hours (Weekdays)     8.00pm – 11.00pm

Operating Hours (Weekend & Public Holidays) 10.00am – 11.00pm

What to do in an Emergency in Canberra

Dial 000 if you believe your life or the life of another person may be at risk.

Are the Walk-In Centres Worth the Cost

In my humble opinion and that of people I know who have used the service, they offer a great entry level care and signposting to services. The nurses are polite, professional and have advanced knowledge of healthcare in Canberra and the surrounding regions, so even if you’re not sure what you need they offer a great starting place best of all they are free. The wait times vary throughout the day, so take a book, they do have phone charging capacity and a TV in the waiting rooms I think, but be a good scout always go prepared.

Nurse-Led Walk-In Centre Canberra Revolutionary Healthcare

They are an initiative that has allowed Canberra to showcase the nurse’s skills and a model that eventually will surely be replicated around the country. 

Physio Therapy at the Walk-In centre

The Walk-In Centre as a collective, I could not find anything online about this, however a quick phone call to the receptionist they confirmed that Physiotherapy is available on a number of days a week, and depending on what day depends on what centre the Physiotherapist is operating from. I will try and get more information on this and post the times and locations of the availability if it’s available through ACT Health Website.

Walk-In Centre Final Word

I hope this article was helpful and I look forward to seeing the Walk-In centres of Canberra continue to grow and service our wonderful, diverse and growing community.

Bibliography

Walk-in Centre FAQ

 Gungahlin Walk-In

ACT Health Information Page

Services at the WiC  

Western Creek WiC

 Canberra Afterhours Locum Medical

Expansion of the Walk-In’s

May be of Interest

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