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Hospital Walk-in Centres

Volume 586: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2014

The NHS walk-in centre in Jarrow sees more than 27,000 people a year, yet the local management propose to close it to pay for the reorganisation that the Government have brought in. Will the Minister intervene on this occasion, overrule the manager and back the local people?

I find the hon. Gentleman’s question slightly mystifying. Responsibility for walk-in centres was passed to local commissioners in 2007, and as I understand, South Tyneside CCG is looking to improve urgent care in the area and reduce reliance on A and E. It reckons that 33,000 people did not need treatment in 2012-13 in the local A and E, so I quite see why it would want to review that. I urge the hon. Gentleman to engage with the consultation, and to get involved with some of the excellent north-east public health projects such as North East Better Health at Work, which is an award-winning scheme that would do a lot to relieve pressure on services.