Have campaigners won the battle to save NHS walk-in centre?

The future of the walk-in centre at Station Plaza in Hastings town centre looks like it’s been secured but it might NOT be called a walk-in centre anymore!

Erica Smith who launched a petition to defend he centre from closure more than a month ago attended the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) that met at County Hall in Lewes on Thursday and the Hastings walk-in Centre was high on the agenda.

Writing on the Hastings and Rye Labour Party website this weekend Erica says: “I went along with another campaigner, we wanted to show that Hastings cares about keeping our walk-in centre in the town centre.”

A representative from the NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said at the meeting that they are now re-evaluating the proposal to close the Hastings town centre walk-in and replace it with an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at the Conquest Hospital. He acknowledged that the central location of the walk-in centre was important. The meeting heard that the CCG has looked at who uses the walk-in centre discovered there is only a seven per cent cross-over between the medical issues that patients bring to the walk-in centre and the kind of treatments that would be offered at the proposed Urgent Treatment Centre.

He told the meeting the name ‘walk-in centre” is going to be dropped and that the service needs to be ‘re-branded’.  Members of the HOSC heard there is still more research to do in to the current usage of the walk-in centre in Hastings.

In her piece on the Labour party website Erica says: “It is too early to say that we have won yet, because no promises have been made. Reading between the lines I think our incredibly successful petition has made them realise how much local residents value this service. The battle isn’t over, but Thursday’s meeting is definitely a victory for the campaign.”

If you haven’t yet signed either the online petition please follow this link to the Change.org online petition.

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