MORE than a thousand people have signed a petition calling on health chiefs to re-think their plans to close the city’s walk-in centre.
Coun Joy Squires, who set up the Save Worcester Walk-in Centre campaign last month, presented the petition to South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (SWCCG) last Thursday (May 22).
It comes after the SWCCG put forward controversial proposals to the walk-in centre on Farrier Street when its contract runs out in August and turn it into a GP practice.
As well as being disappointed by the move, Coun Squires said she was unhappy at the lack of consultation and she hoped the petition, which secured 1,048 signatures, would encourage health bosses to reverse their decision.
“To have more than 1,000 people signing my petition to save Worcester Walk-in Centre from closure in such a short space of time shows how highly valued this accessible, city centre health service is,” she said.
“It is totally unacceptable that the decision to close the walk-in centre was hidden away in a wider consultation document on Urgent Care.
“There should have been an open and transparent process of consultation specifically on the closure of the walk in centre, which is used by thousands of people each year.”
The calls have also been back by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham who vowed to stop the plans in their tracks when he spoke to campaigners during his visit to Worcester earlier this month.
The petition was presented on the same day SWCCG received feedback on its nine-week public engagement exercise which was carried out to discover what people thought of its Worcestershire Urgent Care Strategy.
The main proposals within the strategy include plans to create Urgent Care Centres where hospital doctors and GPs will work together in a bid to relieve the pressure on A&E departments.
It also includes the closure of the walk-in centre as health bosses look to pump money into developing the Urgent Care Centres and Dr Carl Ellson, chief clinical officer for NHS South Worcestershire CCG, revealed 76 per cent of the 367 who responded to the survey backed the move.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to tell us what they think of our plans,” he added.
“Overall, the feedback has been very positive. We are now considering what people have said in detail and will incorporate this into our final proposals.”
Members of the NHS South Worcestershire Governing Body will now review the results before the decision to formally adopt the ‘Worcestershire Urgent Care Strategy’ is made in July.