Fury over decision to close walk-in centres

Councillors Jenny Lynn and Faisal Shoukat starting a Petition to save the Walk in Centre service at Horne Street Medical Centre, Halifax.
Councillors Jenny Lynn and Faisal Shoukat starting a Petition to save the Walk in Centre service at Horne Street Medical Centre, Halifax.

Furious councillors have launched a petition to demand a U-turn on the decision to axe walk-in centres in Halifax and Todmorden.

Coun Jenny Lynn and Coun Faisal Shoukat (both Lab, Park) quizzed health chiefs at the Calderdale Commissioning Group governing body’s meeting on their decision to close the walk-in centres at Horne Street Medical Centre, Halifax and Todmorden Health Centre, without any public consultation. The service will end by March. Minutes from the group’s meeting in December reports the decision, stating walk-in centres are “largely used as a convenience during normal hours by patients registered elsewhere”. The two surgeries are instead to extend opening hours to registered patients.

Coun Lynn said the CCG had pledged to consult with the public on any “significant changes to services” - which she argued this was. But chief officer Matt Walsh said: “We did seek advice about whether the change to the way the service operates would constitute a signifcant change that required consultation and the advice came back that it was not.” For copies of the petition email councillor.jlynn@calderdale.gov.uk or councillor.ssweeney@calderdale.gov.uk.

After the meeting Dr Walsh said: “We are currently in negotiations for a new provider to take over the management of the two GP practices at Horne Street and Todmorden Health Centre after the current provider sought mutual termination of the contract. We are working towards implementing the new arrangements on 5 March, which will provide GP services to registered patients. Patients registered at the practice can be reassured that it will be business as usual while these discussions take place.”

** Local residents and campaigners packed into the first meeting to be held in public of Calderdale’s new health bosses.

The Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) governing body met on Thursday at the home of soon-to-be-abolished NHS Calderdale in Dean Clough.

The group, of Calderdale GPs , will take over responsibility of the local NHS budgets away from the primary care trust this April.

They are meeting in a shadow form before they take over this spring.