My role


Walk-in centres must attract men

The Forum has come up with some ideas to make walk-in centres, which are increasingly popular with the government, more attractive to men.

'We have raised with Health Minister John Hutton how new NHS walk-in centres might more effectively tackle men's health issues,' said MHF director Peter Baker. 'We believe that the centres have the potential to encourage many men who would otherwise not seek help from their GP to do so, or to seek help sooner.'

To ensure that the new, and existing, walk-in centres maximize their potential for providing healthcare for men, the Forum has proposed:

  • a marketing campaign aimed at men specifically;
  • a particular effort to attract men who are socio-economically disadvantaged, for instance through large local employers of manual/clerical workers — and also by outreach services to specific venues (eg. local pubs, betting offices, barbers' shops, workplaces, etc);
  • that walk-in centres are encouraged to participate in National Men's Health Week from June 13-19th 2005 focusing on men and weight/obesity;
  • careful monitoring of the demographics of service users and that service evaluations take gender fully into account;
  • that the lessons of the walk-in centres are applied to traditional GP provision where appropriate.

The Forum has also reiterated its long-standing concern that men are reluctant users of GP services and that GP services themselves have done little to encourage men to attend.

'We are concerned that the new GMS contract, which is leading to a reduction in out-of-hours services by GPs, including Saturday morning clinics, may well have a further negative effect on men's use of primary care,' said Peter Baker.


Page created on December 13th, 2004

Page updated on December 1st, 2009