Accrington Victoria NHS walk-in centre, which has had 42,000 patient visits in the last 12 months and which offers 88 hours per week of GP service, is being replaced by an out-of-hours GP service, with just 19 hours available. When the walk-in centre closes, many people will simply go to the A&E at Royal Blackburn—one of the busiest A&Es in the country. That seems ridiculous, particularly when a patient visit to the A&E costs £120 on average but just £60 to the walk-in centre.
The people of Accrington and Hyndburn have spoken today. This petition has 10,000 written signatures and 14,000 online signatures—24,000 signatures in total. The Government must now listen to local people, show some common sense, step in and save this valuable service.
I would particularly like to thank Chris Reid and Kimberley Whitehead for helping with this campaign. I would also like to thank all the volunteers involved.
The petition states:
The petition of residents of Hyndburn,
Declares that the petitioners are committed to defending NHS services in Hyndburn; and further that the walk-in service based at Accrington Victoria Hospital is a vital community health resource which must remain open, and that other NHS services in the area are being run down.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ensure that arrangements are put in place for the NHS in East Lancashire to ensure that the Accrington Victoria Hospital walk-in service remains open and that the closure of other NHS services in the area are halted.
And the petitioners remain, etc.