Campaigners fighting for the Lincoln Walk-in-Centre to be saved from closure have held a protest outside Lincoln County Hospital, calling on NHS bosses to reconsider their controversial decision.
Members from unions including UNISON, the University of Lincoln Students’ Union and the Save Our NHS Lincolnshire branch were joined by Labour councillors and local residents at Lincoln County Hospital on Wednesday, July 5.
Lincolnshire West CCG has proposed closing the doors to the centre on Monks Road for good, replacing it with extended opening hours and improvements to self-diagnosis services such as 111.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, another NHS organisation, even asked for protesters not to demonstrate at Lincoln County Hospital, claiming it would potentially impact the safety of services.
Tracey Harrison, of UNISON Lincolnshire, organised the protest.
She told The Lincolnite: “We’re here to support the A&E staff here in Lincoln because with the closure of the walk-in centre, more people will be coming here.
“I went into the A&E department before the protest started. On the door is a poster which says: ‘the A&E is overstretched, please ring 111 or use the Monks Road walk-in centre’.
“That is on the A&E door.”
Former general election candidate in Lincoln Elaine Smith added: “This is a shortsighted decision by Lincolnshire West CCG.
“They’re just trying to push their own reasons without actually being willing to listen to what the public are saying.”
Newly-elected Lincoln MP Karen Lee was not able to attend but said in a statement she had been inundated with calls following the proposed move.
She said: “I have already met with Lincolnshire West CCG seeking assurances that the centre will not close without proper replacement services in place first, and I will be meeting with them again soon.
“The view of the many people who have contacted me is that they want the Walk-In Centre to stay open.”