HEALTH Minister John Hutton "walked into" town to officially open a state-of-the art health centre.

He described the Bury NHS Walk-In Centre as a "perfect example of the modernisation of the national health service".

During his hour-long visit, the health minister toured the Parsons Lane complex, accompanied by Bury North MP David Chaytor, officials from Bury and Rochdale Health Authority and staff at the centre. He saw the work being undertaken to establish a new dental access service on the premises.

Mr Hutton spoke to patients, who had called into the drop-in centre for health advice and treatment.

Bury NHS Walk-in-Centre opened its doors in July of last year offering the public health advice and treatment on a no-appointment necessary basis.

On average 35 people visit the centre every day and numbers are set to increase with the opening of the dental surgery, in May. Sue Ridgeway, project manager for the centre, said: "This centre is good news for the people of Bury who have ready access to health advice and treat all year round and seven days a week.

"We are thrilled that Mr Hutton is here to open this centre."

Mr Hutton commented: "It is a great honour to be here and this centre is a fantastic tribute to all the hard work that has gone into opening the centre.

"This is a perfect example of the modernisation of the health service offering faster health care for people. I am very impressed with centre."

Later the minister visited the charter mark award winning Pinfold Lane Centre in Whitefield.