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Councillors vote to ask for rethink over shutting walk-in clinic
CALLS are being made to scrap the closure of a Worcester walk-in clinic - with politicians uniting to pledge a rethink.
Worcester City Council has voted to back a motion saying it believes the case has not been made to shut the Farrier Street walk-in.
As your Worcester News revealed last month, health chiefs want to close the facility to focus care services elsewhere.
Under the proposals the GP service, which has 4,400 registered patients, would remain open but the walk-in aspect of the site, which deals with 15,000 inquiries a year, would close.
During a full council meeting Councillor Joy Squires, Labour's city parliamentary candidate, said she had serious concerns over it.
She said: "We're talking about a pretty significant health provision right in the centre of the city.
"It amounts to a huge number of people who would be adversely affected by this."
She said the centre offered 50,000 appointments last year and over Christmas, 165 hours of "extra capacity" was created there to take the pressure off Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Other councillors agreed to back her motion, which says there has been "no detailed rationale" for the move.
It means managing director Duncan Sharkey to write to the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (SWCCG) to ask for it to be "put on hold" pending a further review.
Senior management at the SWCCG will also be asked to appear before the council's scrutiny committee to answer questions on it.
Councillor Marc Bayliss, deputy Tory group leader, said: "This walk-in centre plays a very useful role in our health care system, I have used it in the past and always found it a good service."
Councillor Roger Berry, from Labour, said: "We know the pressures at A&E are already overloaded.
"If people start using that as their port of call it will make those problems worse.
"It's very hard for people to get to the hospital if they don't have the means or the application to reach it."
If the plans are given the go-ahead the centre will stop accepting ‘walk-in’ patients from August.
A public consultation on the Urgent Care Strategy runs until Wednesday, April 9.
The strategy says shutting the walk-in would free up money to improve GP surgeries.
To view the plans visit southworcsccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/urgent-care
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