The Labour opposition group on Lincolnshire County Council will make a motion at this week’s full council meeting to oppose proposals to close the Lincoln Walk-in-Centre.
Plans currently under consultation by the Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group propose that the centre, the only one of its kind in Lincolnshire, is closed permanently.
The CCG has cited concerns over the ‘duplication of services’, and has instead suggested that provisions are improved in self-treatment services such as 111 and online consultations.
Speaking out ahead of the full council meeting on Wednesday, June 12, Labour Group Leader Councillor Robert Parker said: “The consultation documents from the NHS tell us that 100 people a day use the Lincoln Walk-in Service, that it costs £1 million a year to run and that the same services will in future be available at GP surgeries, through dialling the NHS Freephone number 111 and at pharmacists.
“What it doesn’t say in any detail is where is the spare capacity in doctor’s surgeries to take up the extra demand caused by the Walk-in Centre closure.
“Nor does it spell out say how money will be saved because certainly the cost of a GP appointment will be more expensive than the current arrangement.
“Labour councillors believe that the loss of this service will have a serious negative impact on the lives of many people in Lincoln and the surrounding towns and villages.
“We know that from the public opposition shown so far.
“We will be asking the council to agree that the County CX should write opposing the closure of the Lincoln Walk-in Centre.”
The CCG argued previously in an interview wth The Lincolnite that GPs in the area had the capacity to take on the extra appointments, stating each practice would ‘gain two or three extra appointments a day’.
Bosses also said an emphasis would be placed on GPs’ ability to extend opening hours to seven days a week, however have been unable to guarantee this by the end of the consultation in August.
As previously reported, county leaders have so far been arguably reserved about their position on proposals.
The following is being presented as Part of the motion:
“It is argued that the LWCCG in their consultation document
- Have not demonstrated that alternative services have the extra capacity and are readily available currently to deal with the extra demand caused by the cessation of services at the Walk-in Centre.
- Have not provided statistical information to support the assertion that the 35,000 or so users of the service can be seen by a mixture of GP practices, NHS 111 and pharmacists if the Walk-in Centre closed.
- Have made no financial case to support closure to show that future delivery of services can be delivered more economically than the services provided at the Walk-in Centre which worked out at less than the £30 a visit in 2016 (£1 million expenditure divided by the number of annual users at 35,000 a year).
For these reasons this council agrees that the Chief Executive should write to Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group opposing the closure of Lincoln Walk-in Centre.”