This afternoon I attended the board meeting of the Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and with the permission of the board I addressed the meeting.

In my address I talked of the need to keep the Bitterne Walk-In Centre open, particularly as this is the only service of its type on our side of the city.

I suggested restricting the service to only those people who live in Southampton as a way to bring the cost of the service down.

As well as this I highlighted the lack of GP access particularly on evenings and weekends despite a £3 million investment from Government to increase these services.

After making my submission it became clear that although I had brought all of these issues to the attention of the CCG all through the consultation, they had given them almost no consideration and didn’t have adequate answers once more.

Despite all our efforts and my attendance today the CCG unanimously voted to close our Walk-In service. I couldn’t be more disappointed, not just for the users but also for the hundreds of people who took the time to respond to the consultation and attended the public meetings.

Tomorrow, I will be attending the Council’s Health Scrutiny Panel meeting where this decision will be considered and I will further press these concerns, although I feel it is unlikely this will result in the CCG changing their decision.