Children’s walk-in centre


Childrens walk-in centre (.pdf)

Smithdown Children’s Walk-in Centre, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust 

Started: 2005
Region: Liverpool Merseyside
Geography: Urban


  • Developed through a redesign of the Minor Injuries Unit that had been built due to the impact of the closure of Myrtle street Children’s hospital and the need for a service near to an area of high deprivation.
  • Driven by national child health policy and the Primary Care Trust’s local delivery plan objectives
  • To reduce the significant volume of consultations for children’s minor illness and injury seen in primary and secondary care (general practice, walk-in-centre, ED, paediatrics


  • Early identification and intervention
  • Family and child-centred care
  • Self-management and family support
  • Safeguarding children
  • Improved access
  • Decreased inequalities

Target patient groups

<16 years

The service model

  • It is a stand-alone unit but has close links with the other general Liverpool Walk-In Centres.
  • Entirely nurse-led.
  • ‘Safety-net’ is in place for the staff to discuss treatment and management, if required, with direct telephone access to consultant advice in the children’s ED department.
  • Offers assessment, diagnosis and management of children’s unplanned minor illness and injury.
  • Use local policies and guidelines, which follow national guidelines.

Opening times

8am to 8pm on weekdays

10am to 4pm weekends/ Bank Holidays


  • Led by APNPs, who have an MSc in Paediatric Ambulatory Care.
  • Paediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP).
  • With support from paediatric nurses and healthcare assistants.
  • Provides placements for pre- and post- registration students (nurses, paramedics, APNPs).
  • Robust training provided to staff – must achieve clinical competencies and attend a CPD course on paediatric minor illness and undergo a clinical exam at one of the local higher education institutions.
  • Need to continually update the staff and clinical pathways/guidelines.

Who can refer

Open access


  • 23,348 consultations between Nov 2012 – Oct 2013
  • 72% were minor illness and 22% were minor injury
  • 32% reported that they would have gone to ED instead if Smithdown didn’t exist; 15% would have gone to GP; 42% would have gone to another walk-in-centre (WIC)
  • 92% were treated at Smithdown and 7% were referred on to another service after assessment
  • Patient experience surveys – consistently positive with patients/families reporting an excellent experience
  • Received an outstanding CQC report in November 2012
  • Use of Smithdown is rising, whilst ED attendances at the children’s hospital are falling
  • Year on year increases in activity has increased the workload for staff

Although the service was designed for urgent care, it also deals with large volume of routine illness which could be treated in primary care. 2015-2016 Attendances reached 27,620 and plan for 2016-2017 is  27,499

Contact for more information

Nicola Gourley, Clinical Nurse Manager, Smithdown Children’s Walk-in Centre

0151 285 4820


Tagged: ,

« Back to Acutely unwell children and young people: compendium of new care models