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MP calls meeting to help save walk-in centre

Steve McCabe backing residents fighting to stave off move of walk-in centre to Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Steve McCabe MP
Steve McCabe MP

A Birmingham MP has called a meeting for residents to have their say about the future of a vital GP service in the city.

Steve McCabe (Labour, Birmingham Selly Oak) is backing people living in Selly Oak, who do not want the Katie Road Walk-In Centre to be moved to the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

NHS CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is now in charge of funding healthcare, are running a pre-consultation on urgent care services in Birmingham which includes a review of walk-in centres.

Residents were told the service would not be closing in the immediate future but fears are growing that it may be cut in the long term.

Mr McCabe said: "I think that it is important we take advantage of the pre-consultation phase to prepare our case before CrossCity CCG head to a formal consultation.

"At our last meeting, it was obvious from the amount of people that turned up just how strongly local residents feel about Katie Road walk-in centre.

"They are not in favour of moving it to the Queen Elizabeth hospital which is why we should take the opportunity to make our views absolutely clear to CrossCity CCG.

"I don't know how many consultations we've got to have before people will know they've been listened to but we're not giving up on this."

The purpose of the pre-consultation phase is for service users to input their opinions on urgent care services and walk-in centres to help shape the formal consultation which begins in September and closes mid-December.

Katie Road Walk-In Centre sees about 51,000 patients in the course of the year - about 250 every weekend and an average of 40 people most afternoons.

Since last year, Mr McCabe has been campaigning for openness in the CCG's decision-making process and in March 2013 he wrote to the chairman of Birmingham South CCG, calling for patients to be placed at the centre of any decision making concerning Katie Road NHS Walk-In Centre.

At a meeting with local residents and CrossCity CCG in February 2014, Dr Gavin Ralston told local residents he had no intention of closing the walk-in centre yet there continues to be uncertainty surrounding its future.

The meeting will be held at Elim Church, Selly Oak on July 10 at 7.15pm.

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