I remain opposed to the closure of the Station Health Centre although I do welcome the significant concessions the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made around the concerns I expressed to them.
I am pleased a new town centre GP branch of the Victoria Medical Practice must be operational before any closure can commence. This was an absolute necessity.
However, big questions remain around how good the proposed homelessness service will be going forward. I cannot agree that one-day a week provision could ever replace a seven-day-a-week drop in for vulnerable people.
Closing the walk-in centre is linked to a very heavy reliance on NHS 111 CAS, especially for our town’s visitors. I have supported local people who have had a negative experience with this service and the consultation highlighted an issue here too. I need to see 111 performance indicators to understand if these were isolated incidents.
I respect the expertise of our local medical leaders with whom this decision lies but further work is needed to evidence that this is a proposal that can be effectively mitigated so town centre residents, the vulnerable and visitors do not miss out.
I will be seeking answers to the concerns and questions I have from the CCG in the coming days.