CCG plans to close Lincoln Walk-In-Centre at the end of February

Health executives will decide on plans to close the Lincoln Walk-In-Centre on Monks Road for good at the end of February.

Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has proposed a reduction of opening hours through February to weekends only, with a goal to fully close the service by the end of the month.

It has also been suggested that additional GP out of hours provision is in place over the weekends, but only from March 1 to mid-April.

The controversial decision follows a consultation with almost 3,000 people in the Lincoln area, 94% of whom said they would not support a closure.

Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which runs the service, took the decision to close the centre after the winter period, despite widespread public outcry, protests and petitions.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The CCG argued that, according to its own research, 95% of Walk-In-Centre users had ailments which could be treated elsewhere.

It said a large proportion of visitors was university students, but later admitted they made up just a small number of the over 30,000 visits to the centre a year.

It promised to enhance services and raise awareness of alternative provisions including additional primary care appointments and access for patients at weekends.

Wendy Martin, Executive Lead Nurse/ Midwife and Quality, said in the CCG’s governing body meeting agenda for January: “We previously evidenced an additional capacity of 90 appointments per day across LWCCG from December 1 2017, […] and this will further increase to a total of 190 by the end of January, 2018.”

She added in the report: “A&E attendances will continue to be kept under careful review during this process as the numbers attending the Walk-in Centre fall.

“In tandem the CCG will continue the extensive public promotion of the alternative services in place.

“This communication reiterates that patients should only be presenting to A&E when it is an emergency and that if they are unsure to contact 111.”

The Lincolnshire West CCG governing body will be asked to support the proposal to close the service at its meeting on January 24.