Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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'Keep Our Walk In' petition launched

Joint campaign against closure of Holly Hall Walk-In Centre, Stourbridge Road is launched.

Natasha Millward, Labour candidate for Dudley South, is joining forces with Dudley MPs Ian Austin and Pat McFadden to keep Holly Hall Walk-In Centre open. They are calling on local people to sign a petition against changes to the centre as part of their ‘Keep Our Walk-In’ campaign which is already attracting support.

Holly Hall Walk-In gives extended hours healthcare, 7 days a week, without an appointment to 50,000 patients a year. Although the centre is located in the Dudley South constituency, its services are used by residents across the whole of Dudley. Its closure could affect healthcare services across the area.

The threat to the Walk-In Centre’s future comes from Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, which is proposing to re-direct Holly Hall’s funding to extend GP services and establish an urgent care centre at Russells Hall. The consultation has given no guarantee that the same number of patients will be seen or that the same services will be provided to them.

Labour Candidate for Dudley South, Natasha Millward said:

“People don’t just need health services in office hours. We can’t always juggle commitments to get to our GP surgery. That’s why the last Labour Government introduced Walk-In Centres.

“If Holly Hall is closed, more people will have no alternative but to go to overstretched A&E Departments. Let’s not be ‘patient’ about this. Join the Keep Our Walk-In campaign.”

Ian Austin MP said:

“Just like everyone in Dudley, we’ve used the walk-in centre at Holly Hall when we’ve needed a doctor out-of-hours.

“Any change to local services has to make improving care and treating local people the top priority, but this consultation gives no guarantee that services will be maintained if the walk-in centre is closed.

“I want local people to sign our petition and send a clear message that they don’t want the centre closed.”

Pat McFadden MP said:

“Holly Hall is popular precisely because it’s open until 8pm and people don’t need an appointment. It’s ideal for working people who don’t want to take a day off to visit their GP or when a situation arises without warning but which does not merit a visit to A&E.

“It would be a backward step to force patients to choose between busy GP surgeries which are not open so late in the evening and already overstretched A&E departments. The NHS must be run in the interests of the patients and services should be structured around their needs.”

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