Walk In Centre to stay open says NHS Trust

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HEALTH bosses are reassuring Leigh folk regarding the future of the Walk In Centre in the town.

Chiefs at the Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust say they are unaware of any plans to close the NHS Walk In Centre following speculation that it could close.

Reports claimed that walk in centres across the UK are rapidly becoming a casualty of the tougher financial climate in the NHS in England.

Earlier this week the Shadow Health Secretary and Labour MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham vowed to fight any moves to close the walk in centre.

Mr Burnham said: “The Walk-In Centre at Leigh Infirmary is a popular and highly-valued service. People in Leigh shouldn’t have to travel miles to Wigan, Bolton or Warrington if they need help at evenings or weekends.

“A quarter of Walk-In Centres may have closed already but I will fight any moves by this Coalition Government to take away Leigh’s Walk-In Centre. It was the Tory Government of the early 1990s that closed our A&E and I won’t let them do the same to us again”.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust is unaware of plans to close walk in centres. The average weekly attendance at the Leigh walk in centre is 1,105, in St Helens 1,460 and in Halton 933.

“The service is greatly valued by residents and we shall work closely with partners to ensure the services we provide are those most wanted/needed by our communities.”   

But the Department of Health says GP commissioning groups will be free to shut them when they take over from Primary Care Trusts as part of the NHS shake-up.