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Mayor Dave: Walk-In Centre Closure is 'Unacceptable', and Situation 'Beggars Belief'

January 23, 2018 2:37 PM

Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behindFollowing the publication of an update report by Bedfordshire CCG prior to its Governing Body meeting on Thursday 25th January, Mayor Dave Hodgson has slammed the closure of Putnoe Walk-In Centre as 'unacceptable', addiing that the uncertainty over ongoing walk-in care in Bedford 'beggars belief'.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mayor Dave said:

"We're less than ten weeks from the end of the contract at Putnoe Walk-In Centre, and today the Bedfordshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has published an update report… which does absolutely nothing to dispel the uncertainty around the availability of walk-in care from April 1st.

The contract at Putnoe is up at the end of March, it hasn't currently been reviewed or extended, and in its place the CCG has an 'ambition' to create an 'Urgent Treatment Centre' offering an expanded range of services, including care for walk-in patients. It says it plans to implement this from 1st October, and not 1st April, 'to enable full engagement with local communities'. This truly beggars belief. I'm pretty sure that those local communities will tell them that they don't want to be without somewhere to go when they or their loved ones need treatment!

Not only is it unacceptable that the Putnoe Walk-In Centre is closing, it is even worse that the supposed replacement will not follow until at least 6 months later. Bedford Borough should have more than one walk-in treatment centre, and I think any new centre should be in addition to the Putnoe Walk-In site, to make services more accessible. But leaving Bedford without a walk-up treatment centre at all for six months, which is what we currently seem to facing, is just shocking and will put additional pressure on Bedford Hospital's already stretched A&E.

This disappointing, insufficient update states that 'pre-engagement' has taken place with me and others. They did tell me about the end of the contract at Putnoe Walk-In Centre, which is public knowledge, but to confirm, I have NOT been involved in deciding these plans, nor do I endorse them.

See paper 13, via this link… https://www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/page/?id=3965"