The closure of the Ilkeston NHS Walk in Centre has prompted wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Erewash MP.
Jessica Lee complains that she was not informed personally and criticises a lack of public consultation, but had she been following the policies of her own party in government she would know that the Ilkeston Centre is merely the latest NHS walk-in to close since Labour lost the 2010 general election. The Tory-led Government has been extremely clear – firstly making the centres operate by appointment as is the case at Ilkeston, instead of being true walk –ins. Then they have simply shut them down. Department of Health statistics show that a quarter of the centres nationwide have closed in 2012 alone – including one in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, represented by Labour MP, Gloria De Piero. When Ms De Piero challenged David Cameron about the closure of the Ashfield facility and similar walk-in centres all over the country, the Prime Minster retorted that decisions now needed to be taken locally about the expenditure of NHS money. If the Erewash MP attends Westminster during the week, she cannot have missed this significant shift in Tory health policy, or failed to grasp that walk-in centres are being closed as part of spending cuts. Walk-in centres remain stubbornly popular with people everywhere, including residents of Ilkeston. If Jessica Lee is truly concerned about the fate of walk-in centres, let her lead a campaign at Westminster and defend them in the place where Erewash electors sent her to make a difference. Sadly, she appears to think that making a fuss in the patch but not saying boo to a goose at Westminster go hand in hand.
Chairman, Erewash Labour