More anger over closure

Ilkeston walk in medical centre, Ilkeston hospital.
Ilkeston walk in medical centre, Ilkeston hospital.

Health chiefs tried a different tack on Tuesday to try to convince patients about their reasons for the closure of Ilkeston’s walk-in centre and a GP surgery.

But many of the 100 people who attended the second public meeting arranged over the unpopular plans for Ilkeston Family Practice were angered by its ‘shambolic’ format.

Tables were set up for patients to hear reasons for the closures of the surgery, where 1,500 residents are registered, and walk-in centre, alternatives available in Ilkeston and the future of health services in Erewash.

Amanda Jackson, heading a campaign against the closures, said: “Judging by people’s views as they are leaving, they are still not satisfied. It’s a shambles.”

Last month saw a similar number of concerned patients give their views during another chaotic meeting at the Arena.

Ms Jackson said that more than 2,000 people have signed the petition so far and she hopes for a total of 5,000 before the planned closure on February 28.

Although she was unable to attend, copies of letters from Erewash MP Jessica Lee were circulated at the meeting, including correspondence with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

She wrote: “I am concerned that NHS Derbyshire County have taken this decision without prior public consultation and has communicated it through the local press, rather than directly to stakeholders.”

She said that she is worried about disruption to patients and pressure on Ilkeston GP surgeries.

Director of commissioning at NHS Derbyshire County Vikki Taylor again explained to patients that there were alternatives to both the walk-in centre and surgery.

“This is not something we planned to do – we have responded that the business isn’t financially viable,” she said.