Lincoln hospital protest set against walk-in-centre closure proposals

A demonstration against proposals that could see the Lincoln Walk-in-Centre closed for good will be held outside Lincoln County Hospital next week.

Members from a number of local unions, including Unison and the University of Lincoln SU, and the Fighting for Life Lincolnshire group will protest outside the A&E department of the hospital on Greetwell Road from 6pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday, July 5.

Lincoln County Hospital. Photo: File/The Lincolnite

An eight-week consultation on plans to close the centre, the only one of its kind in Lincolnshire, come to an end on Sunday, August 6.

Since its launch, Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group has collected over 1,600 responses to its official online survey.

The group also met with residents to hear their questions and concerns this week at three drop-in sessions in the city.

Patients raised a number of issues with the team of representatives there. Many of whom echoed fears from a whistleblower earlier in the consultation that the decision on the future of the service had already been decided.

Others also called for assurances that the move would not create added pressure on local GPs and the city’s A&E service. 

As part of the consultation, the CCG stated that the service would be replaced with enhancements of self-management services such as the 111 phone line. They also said an emphasis would be placed on extending GP opening hours to seven days a week.

Sarah-Jane Mills, Chief Operating Officer at Lincolnshire West CCG, could not guarantee that GPs would be extending their hours by the end of the consultation, but that conversations were ongoing to determine future extensions.

The Lincoln Walk-In Centre is currently open seven days a week between 8am and 8pm. It costs £1 million a year to run and features a nurse-led team of 15 members of staff.

The service saw around 34,000 patients in the last financial year.