CCG health bosses have denied accusations made by an NHS whistleblower that the decision on plans to close the county’s only walk-in-centre has already been made, and the service’s £1m per year replacement settled.
Speaking anonymously to The Lincolnite, the source, who works for the organisation, accused Lincolnshire West CCG of “lying and deceiving the public” by running a consultation on the plans.
They claimed that a new £1 million GP streaming service will instead be incorporated within a car park at the entrance to Lincoln County Hospital’s A&E department.
The source told The Lincolnite: “The ‘consultation’ that will be going ahead is a waste of time the CCG have already decided on the outcome.
“They have plans in place already to have a GP streaming service within A&E at Lincoln hospital. The plans have been drawn up and the money of £1 million has already been allocated and set aside for this GP streaming service.
“Plans are in place to build the service within the small car park outside of A&E’s entrance. These plans have been in place for months.
“The CCG are deceiving their public into thinking the walk-in-centre may stay open when in fact the new service is due to start in October 2017.
“Lies from the CCG. There will be no consultation. The decision is already made.”
Sunil Hindocha, Chief Clinical Officer for Lincolnshire West CCG and Sarah-Jane Mills, Chief Operating Officer, spoke to The Lincolnite in a video interview addressing concerns about the impact of the proposal.
The pair insisted that while a £1 million A&E streaming service at Lincoln and Pilgrim is being pursued, it is a separate project, brought together with capital funding and as part of a national initiative.
Dr Hindocha said: “This is the really frustrating thing.
“People conflate things that happen in A&E with the walk-in-centre, and I come back to my original point, this has always been and always will be about general practices and nothing to do with what goes on in A&E.
“That streaming service is completely separate, in fact that was a work stream set off nationally, it’s not a local decision, to have primary care streaming in A&E, in a completely separate dialogue. And that’s been happening with the trust, not necessarily with the CCGs.”
They said they are considering proposals and taking on board all the feedback they are receiving, but that it was about “assessing the health needs of residents”.
Sarah-Jane Mills added: “The £1 million you are referring to is capital money to develop the A&E departments at both Lincoln and Pilgrim hospitals.
“The £1 million is completely separate, it’s about building design at the two hospitals and the service is about A&E development.”
They added that the move is not about saving money, and refused to accept the closure would put pressure on Lincoln A&E.
It costs £1 million a year to run the walk-in-centre on Monks Road from a budget of over £300 million.
Some 34,000 people used the service in the last financial year.