Lincoln MP requests meeting with government ministers over Walk-In Centre closure

Lincoln MP Karen Lee has today called for a meeting with government ministers following the Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision to close the Lincoln Walk-In Centre next month.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Ms Lee said: “Lincoln’s Walk-In Centre will close in a few weeks despite the fact that there is inconsistent and insufficient service in place to mitigate the closure.

“My question is: will the minister pass on to the Prime Minister my request for her to meet me to both discuss and review that closure?”

In response, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidlington MP – who stood in for Mrs May – said: “Clearly, I think if she would like to set out a bit more detail than she’s had the time to do today, I’ll ensure a minister does see her about this.”

Karen Lee has requested a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP to discuss how Lincoln’s health service can ‘remain accessible’ and ‘perform to the highest possible standard’. Photo: UK Parliament/flickr

As well as the request in PMQs, the local MP has announced that she has sent a letter to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt about the closure, describing the decision as ‘downgrading of the health service available’ to her constituents.

She writes: “I fear that the lack of provision in place to properly manage emergency admissions will place increased stress on our already pressured A&E service.

“I recently spent a shift with local EMAS [East Midlands Ambulance Service] Paramedics and they share my concern; the events I witnessed that day reaffirmed this, despite assurances given by the CCG.”

Ms Lee then went on to request a meeting with Mr Hunt to discuss how Lincoln’s health service can ‘remain accessible’ and ‘perform to the highest possible standard’.

“To Lincoln, the closure [of the] walk-in centre is a hugely damaging measure and one which has been taken against the clear wishes of those local people our NHS is meant to serve.

“Resultantly, I wish to see this decision reviewed and the wishes of the people of Lincoln put before those of our CCG,” she added.

Despite 94% of consultation respondents opposing the closure of the walk-in centre, Sarah-Jane Mills, chief operating officer at Lincolnshire West CCG, said the number of people using the centre ‘has dropped dramatically’.

“Evidence shows there is not a link between pressures at Lincoln County Hospital this winter and the reduction in attendances at the Walk-in Centre.

“The 25 per cent drop in attendances at the Walk-in Centre compared to the same time last year shows that patients are getting a greater understanding of the alternative services.

“They are also making use of them,” she said.

The CCG has confirmed the walk-in centre – located on Monks Road – will close from February 5, but will stay open at weekends until February 25.

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