A PETITION has been started to keep a walk-in health centre in the middle of Portsmouth.
The Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre, in Guildhall Walk, has a walk-in service and a GP surgery.
It’s a valuable service and one used by manyCouncillor Lynne Stagg
The NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which pays for the service, is looking to merge the walk-in part with that in St Mary’s Treatment Centre, Milton Road, which also has a walk-in centre.
The CCG said the proposal takes into consideration patient views from various surveys, which indicate there are too many options and that that causes confusion.
The contract for the Guildhall walk-in centre, which treats 20,000 people a year, is due to end in March.
Cherelle Ash, 22, of St Paul’s Road, Southsea, started the online petition on change.org.
She said: ‘It seems silly to close it when so many people use it and it’s easy to get to.
‘Some people don’t have the funds to go to St Mary’s – the Guildhall walk-in centre is really accessible.’
The petition has so far collected 117 signatures and will be presented to Innes Richens, the chief operating officer for the CCG.
He said: ‘This is a consultation and we are interested in hearing different views, so welcome the petition.
‘This is not about saving money – if the walk-in centre moves then we will still be paying for the same number of appointments we do now.
‘Primarily we want to hear from those who use the service – either the walk-in centre or those registered with the GP practice.’
Mr Innes answered questions from councillors at Portsmouth City Council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel, who raised concerns about the proposals.
Alan Burnett, the chairman of the Pompey Pensioners Association, also made a speech.
Cllr Lynne Stagg said: ‘It’s a valuable service and one used by many.
‘I know there are a lot of students who use the facility and I wonder if they (University of Portsmouth) could help with funding.’
The CCG said it is due to hold a meeting with the university to hear its views.
Concerns were also raised about getting to, and parking, at St Mary’s.
There are plans to extend the car park there.