Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero to write to health secretary Andew Lansley over Kirkby NHS walk-in centre

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ASHFIELD MP Gloria De Piero has vowed to write to the Health Secretary as the row over the closure of the NHS walk-in centre in Kirkby continues to rumble on.

Members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s social care and health standing committee met on Monday morning to discuss the impact of the closure of the centre, which was at Ashfield Health Village and treated patients for minor aliments without the need for an appointment.

In March last year, board members at NHS Nottinghamshire County agreed to close the facility at Kirkby, as well as similar one in Stapleford, and instead integrate these services at King’s Mill Hospital’s emergency department.

The walk-in centre was granted a brief reprieve after the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee, which looks at major decisions, referred the matter to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley because councillors were not convinced that closure was in the interests of patients.

But Mr Lansley upheld NHS Nottinghamshire County’s decision and the centre finally closed to patients in September.

At Monday’s meeting, Deborah Jaines, who is chief operating officer for High Point Health Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group, said that GP practices in Ashfield were offering longer clinics and more same day appointments to accommodate patient demand. She also said that the number of people going to King’s Mill’s accident and emergency department had remained ‘broadly static’ suggesting that people had not been going there as a result of the closure of the walk-in centre.

Speaking after the meeting, Miss De Piero said: “Ashfield has lost its walk in centre despite strong and vocal opposition from the local community. I don’t believe local health bosses have been straight with the people of Ashfield and I’m now going to write to the Health Secretary to find out why we have lost this much loved service.”

For a full report see Wednesday’s Chad.