Labour vow to bring back Worcester's NHS walk-in centre - The Worcester Observer

Labour vow to bring back Worcester's NHS walk-in centre

Worcester Editorial 8th Mar, 2023 Updated: 8th Mar, 2023   0

WORCESTER could once again have an NHS walk-in centre as part of a Labour-led move to reopen the lifeline which closed its doors eight years ago, the Observer can reveal.

The city had a dedicated NHS Walk-In Centre on Farrier Street until it was closed in the face of local opposition in 2015 in favour of an urgent care centre at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Despite an estimated 15,000 passing through its doors each year and a desperate plea from then Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, the site was closed by county health bosses.

But with the Royal’s Accident and Emergency department under almost constant strain, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate Tom Collins has delivered a rallying call for investment to ease the pressure and bring back the vital site.

Labour’s choice to fight the city seat at the next General Election used a visit from current Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting on Monday (March 6) to consider investing in such services like the one lost in Worcester.

Mr Collins said the strain could be lessened if non-critical patients were able to attend an alternative treatment site which could also be another avenue for those patients sent for treatment by the NHS 111 service.

“Worcestershire Royal’s A&E capacity is being overwhelmed and too many patients are turning up with non-critical needs because there’s nowhere else to go,” he said.

“People shouldn’t have to fight for a GP appointment when they need one. Worcester needs its NHS Walk-In Centre back, and I’m prepared to work to see this happen.”

The former city councillor raised the issue with Mr Streeting during a meeting at the University of Worcester in which Labour’s health chief repeated his calls for the Government to scrap ‘non-domicile’ tax status to fund additional places at medical schools such as the one being built in the city.

Speaking to the Observer, Mr Streeting said: “The next Labour government will provide more healthcare in the community, on people’s doorstep, so they don’t always have to traipse to hospitals.

“We will train more GPs so people can get an appointment to see the GP they want, in the manner they choose, when they need it.

“That way the NHS can catch problems earlier and deliver better care for patients.

“Good, accessible local health centres are at the heart of Labour’s healthcare agenda. That’s why Tom’s campaign is so important. Tom is fighting tooth and nail to bring back the walk-in centre, and will be a brilliant champion for the people of Worcester.”

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