Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich North, Alice Macdonald and Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South have written to the CEO of the NHS Integrated Care Board for Norfolk and Waveney to object to proposals that could result in the closure of Norwich’s Walk-In Centre following the announcement of an NHS consultation.
They write, ‘Since the consultation has been announced, we have been contacted by residents across Norwich and beyond who are deeply concerned about the negative impact this would have. We believe a false choice is being set out – people in Norwich should not have to choose between the promise of improved GP services or continuing to have a Walk-in centre. We need both.
The letter sets out three key reasons why the Walk-In Centre must be protected
1) NEED: The Walk-centre is a vital service used by thousands of people all across Norwich, providing on average 5,666 appointments a month.
2) IMPACT ON THE NHS: As independent reports have set out, the Walk-in centre helps relieve pressure on other parts of the NHS including Accident and Emergency and GP practices.
3) EQUALITY: Voluntary organisations are telling us that this would have a terrible impact on some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the city. Many people who are not registered with a GP rely on the centre.
They also raise concerns about the consultation itself including the length of the consultation process and accessibility issues.
They ask the NHS to respond to a number of questions including what the impact on other parts of the NHS would be if the Walk-In Centre is closed and whether an equality impact assessment has been carried out on the options.
Labour has launched a petition calling for the Walk-In Centre to be protected.