A BUSY walk-in medical centre has been extended and revamped thanks to a cash injection from the NHS.

Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) received a total of £505k for the project, through NHS England’s primary care Estates and Technology Transformation Fund scheme.

The Reading Walk-In Health Centre is run by Virgin Care on behalf of Berkshire West CCG.

An additional six clinical rooms have been created within the centre in Broad Street Mall and the waiting area will be undergoing refurbishment.

The centre, which opened in February 2010, is on the first floor of the mall and is open from 8am to 8pm every day to provide treatment, information and advice on a range of minor illnesses and injuries.

Helen Clark from Berkshire West CCG, said: “We’re very pleased to have received funding from NHS England for this extension and refurbishment. The walk-in centre is a useful part of the primary care service in Reading.

“We’d also remind people of the new extended hours GP service available since October across Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire. Patients can now book via their GP surgery for appointments during evenings and at weekends."

Staff at the centre offer advice on issues such as alcohol and drug use and contraceptive services.

There are no pre-bookable appointments at the walk-in service and some patients may be referred to their own GP or other health services depending on their needs.

The centre also houses a regular GP practice, with a rapidly growing patient list currently standing at 9,600 people in Reading.

Elena Orr, the centre’s service manager, added: “Being able to bring patients in to an environment that is bright and cheerful is such an improvement.

"With our increased capacity to deal with the growing number of patients, it is nice to know that all patients are receiving the highest level of care from the moment they walk through the door.”