PEOPLE who fought to keep a walk-in clinic in the centre of Portsmouth say they are disappointed the decision has been made to move it.
Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the decision yesterday to approve the proposals surrounding the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre.
We are disappointed because there was so much public opinion on keeping the centre as it was.Baldev Laly
The changes, which start on July 1, will see the GP practice remain at Guildhall Walk until at least April 2017.
But the walk-in facility will be moved to St Mary’s Hospital with only registered patients allowed to use the current walk-in service at the practice.
To help enhance the walk-in centre at St Mary’s, GPs will be on-hand between 8am and 8pm, joining nurses who are already based at the hospital.
The proposals will also see the current pharmacy-based urgent care services extended to treat more illnesses and injuries and serve more people.
Baldev Laly, a director at Lalys Pharmacy, fought to keep the walk-in centre open with a petition which had around 3,300 signatures.
He said: ‘We are disappointed because there was so much public opinion for keeping the centre as it was.
‘It is sad, but what can we do? There was a system in place which worked, but they’ve decided to change it .’
The Portsmouth Labour Party also handed in a petition with nearly 2,000 signatures. Cllr John Ferrett, who chairs the Portsmouth Health and Overview Scrutiny Panel, said he hoped the new walk-in centre would help ease pressures at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
‘But my concern with the proposals is that moving the centre might put more pressure on A&E,’ he said.
‘I would hope that the centre at St Mary’s Hospital, given that it will have GPs, will be able to take some of the pressure off the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.’
During the meeting, chief operating officer Innes Richens said the aim of the CCG is to improve primary care for the whole of the city - something he thinks these proposals do.
He said: ‘When we began this process our overriding objective was to start the essential work of improving urgent care in Portsmouth. We believe that these proposals achieve that goal.
‘I believe that we have struck a positive balance – we will be making improvements to urgent care services in the city, and ensuring that people living around the city centre will still be able to get walk-in appointments at a GP practice near to their homes.’
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