Last night I attended the City Council’s Health Overview Scrutiny Panel (HOSP) to make representations on behalf of local residents regarding the proposed closure of the Bitterne Walk-in Centre. I made it clear that to close the centre without full and thorough consultation was not acceptable. I pointed out that the walk-in centre is a public facility, funded by the public and therefore the public must determine its future.
I am pleased to say that those representations have helped secure the future of our much-loved facility.
The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) agreed to keep the walk-in centre open and still find resources to help with the expected winter pressures on other NHS services.
I am very grateful to the hundreds of residents for their support during this time, without the support of those residents I am not sure the Labour council or the CCG would have listened. However, I must pay tribute to all political parties who campaigned to save the walk-in centre. One, decided to make it far more political than I would have liked, but the result is no less satisfying.
The CCG have behaved entirely honourably. They listened to public opinion and they acted accordingly, it would be remiss not to acknowledge that.
I think we are all a little wiser this morning and I have learned many lessons during this process, which will serve me well in the future.
If you would like more information on the last couple of days campaigning you can find it http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11568277.Health_Secretary_Jeremy_Hunt_could_over_turn_decision_to_shut_walk_in_centre/