Plans that could see Lincolnshire’s only NHS walk-in-centre closed down have been met with huge backlash from patients, many branding proposals “ridiculous”.
As first reported on The Lincolnite on Monday, June 12, the walk-in-centre on Monks Road in Lincoln has been outlined for possible closure in a shake-up of GP services by the Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group.
Instead, the CCG says it’s considering proposals to replace the service with longer opening hours at local GPs, enhancements to the current 111 phone service and “support people to self-manage their health conditions”.
Patients argue however that booking an appointment with their GP is already difficult and warn that the move could increase pressures on doctors surgeries and A&E departments.
The walk-in-centre currently opens between 8am and 8pm seven days a week and is open to any person, regardless of whether they are registered with a GP, such as visitors to the area.
It costs around £1 million to run and is staffed by 15 people. The CCG has said it does not believe there would be any job losses as a result of the move.
Save the centre petition
A petition titled ‘Save Lincoln’s only walk-in-centre from closure by short-sighted Lincolnshire West CCG’ has gained more than 1,500 signatures in just a few hours.
The online page, set up by campaigner Dean Graham, states proposed alternatives to the service are “woefully inadequate” and that access to a GP “should be a right not a privilege”.
He adds that the closure of the centre would put extra pressure on the already stretched A&E department in the city, which has not met waiting times for a number of years.
The petition will be delivered to the CCG as part of their consultation process.
“A shameful proposal”
Hundreds of readers of The Lincolnite have spoken out in anger at the proposals, many of whom sharing their personal experiences of what many regard as a vital service for county residents and visitors.