Campaigners have welcomed a temporary reprieve in the planned closure of two walk-in centres in Calderdale.
As reported by the Courier, health chiefs at Calderdale’s Clinical Commissioning Group decided to end the walk-in centre services at Horne Street Medical Centre in Halifax and at Todmorden Health Centre by March.
Campaigners including councillors Jenny Lynn and Faisal Shoukat (both Lab, Park) launched a petition against the move and questioned why no public consultation had been carried out.
But this week, Dr Matt Walsh, chief officer of the commissioning group, the service will now stay in place for the next six months.
“Negotiations are still taking place with a new provider to take over the services at Calder Community Practice and Park Community Practice. In the meantime, Care UK has agreed to maintain services at both practices for up to a further six months, which means there will be no change to the current service. We are now revisiting the procurement process and also reviewing existing unplanned care services as part of a wider review to make sure we find the best solution that will provide the right care, delivered in the most appropriate place, when people need it.”
Coun Lynn welcomed the news but demanded a long-term commitment to recommission the walk-in service and an assurance of effective consultation before any further major changes in NHS services.
She added: “As far as I am concerned, we would not have come this far without the strong support of local people. The Labour Party is totally committed to defending the NHS, and will stand up and make a fuss when valued local services are under threat.”
She said hundreds of local people had already signed petitions against the closure, and a resolution calling for the retention of the walk-in services and effective consultation before any serious changes in local NHS services are planned. The petition will be presented to the full council meeting on Wednesday February 13.