TRADE unionists in Worcester have thrown their support behind a campaign to stop the closure of Worcester’s walk-in health centre.
As part of a planned major overhaul of urgent care in the county dubbed the Worcestershire Urgent Care Strategy health bosses are considering closing the walk-in element of the centre in Farrier Street in August.
Although the centre will remain open as a GP surgery and more cash will be ploughed into minor injury units across the county if the plans get the go-ahead, campaigners in the city have launched a petition calling for it to stay as it is.
As part of the traditional May Day event outside The Guildhall on Saturday, May 10, members of the Worcester Trades Union Council (WTUC) called on passers-by to sign the petition.
WTUC vice-chairman and Unison member Maggie Fenwick said she was pleased by the reaction to the campaign.
“In a very short time we discussed this with many people and added over 50 names to the petition,” she said.
“Local people seem well aware that the arbitrary closure of this facility will only add pressure to the hospitals’ already overstretched A&E department.”
The centre currently deals with 15,000 inquiries a year and has 4,400 registered patients.
Earlier this month former health secretary Andy Burnham pledged to complain to NHS England about the plans on a visit to the city.
Speaking during a visit to the Whitehouse Hotel in Foregate Street the Labour MP for Leigh said: “It makes no sense at all to close the walk-in centre”.
A public consultation into the plans closed earlier this month after being extended by three weeks to allow residents to have a closer look at the scheme, which is now being considered by NHS bosses.
The South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, one of the organisations behind the plans, has said about 84 per cent of those who visited the centre in the past 12 months were registered at other GP surgeries and up to 50 per cent of these could be better treated by their own doctor.
For more information on the campaign visit www.saveworcesterwalkin.co.uk.
To find out more about the Worcestershire Urgent Care Strategy visit www.southworcsccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/urgent-care.