MP speaks out as walk-in centre campaign grows

Ilkeston walk in medical centre, Ilkeston hospital.
Ilkeston walk in medical centre, Ilkeston hospital.
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More than 250 people have already signed an online petition to save the walk-in centre and GP surgery, based at Ilkeston Community Hospital.

Last week we revealed plans by NHS Derbyshire County to axe the Ilkeston Family Practice, forcing 1,548 patients to re-register with other surgeries in town.

And sick patients now face a trip to Derby to visit the county’s next nearest walk-in centre.

Erewash MP Jessica Lee revealed that she shares some of the concerns of the campaigners, particularly about the NHS’s lack of communication with townsfolk.

“I am really disappointed to find out about this after the decision has been made,” she said.

“Staff are the first priority to be informed but it would have been appropriate to let the MP know, who represents the people of the constituency.”

She added that she was ‘extremely surprised’ it had not gone to public consultation.

Ilkeston resident Amanda Jackson started the online petition last week, as well as a campaign across social media. She now plans to create paper copies of the petition.

“The whole approach they have taken is really bad,” she said.

“No one has communicated with the patients affected.

“It’s closing on February 28, they say, but we still haven’t had any direct communication other than reading it in the paper.”

Conservative MP Miss Lee said on Tuesday she was planning to write to the Government Department for Health to ask if ‘the decision has been considered carefully and has been made in the best interest of the people in this area.’

“Reducing duplication and maximising facilities is why this is being put forward – I want to see the analysis,” she said.

“My particular concern is disruption to patients and service users, particularly elderly patients.”

Ms Jackson said she is planning to seek help from campaigners in Ashfield who successfully fought to keep a walk-in centre open in their constituency.

“The key thing the campaign is about is giving Ilkeston people a voice,” said Ms Jackson.

“It’s going to have such a great impact on the town.

“People think it’s a done deal but I think we can save this.”

Derbyshire County NHS announced it was planning two public meetings to answer residents’ questions. The first is on Tuesday 18th December at 7pm at The Arena and a second is planed in early January.