Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin calls for Dudley NHS walk-in centre to be saved

Two Dudley MPs, Pat McFadden and Ian Austin, have called on the local health service in Dudley not to close the NHS walk-in centre in Holly Hall.

The MPs’ call comes as a local consultation holds open the possibility of Dudley losing the popular walk in centre, which serves over 50,000 patients a year.

This week the NHS regulator, Monitor, said that a quarter of England’s Walk in centres had closed in recent years.

Pat McFadden MP said:

“We are very concerned about the possibility of the walk in centre closing.

“This centre is popular precisely because it is open until 8pm and people don’t need an appointment. It is ideal for people at work 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.

“The development of walk in centres was an important and popular step forward. We very much hope that in the interests of our constituents, Dudley’s stays open.”

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 I’m concerned that closing the walk-in centre will make out-of-hours care worse, not better.

“I want to see better access for patients in the evening and at weekends, especially for people who go to work and who ought to be able to see a GP without having to take a day off work. Local people need a clear solution that improves out-of-hours care.”

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