Ex-Green Party candidate condemns ‘lack of action’ over health centre closure

Palmers Community Hospital, Jarrow
Palmers Community Hospital, Jarrow

A SOUTH Tyneside former Parliamentary candidate has accused health bosses of failing to meet pledges required for the closure of a borough health facility.

The future of Jarrow Walk-in Centre, based in the grounds of the town’s Palmer Community Hospital, hangs in the balance – despite being accessed by 27,000 people a year.

David Herbert.

David Herbert.

The borough’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want to re-locate it into the grounds of the borough’s district hospital. But the CCG is required to address a series of concerns over its closure before the centre can be re-located.

Now David Herbert, who represented the Green Party in the Jarrow constituency at the general election, has claimed “no progress” has been made.

He said: “Seven months ago I attended the feedback from the CCG. At a public meeting this week I pointed out that the feedback report made several recommendations, none of which have been fulfilled with only four months to closure.

“ Public transport to South Tyneside was to be improved but it has actually been made worse by the withdrawal of the TB 504 service from Hebburn to the hospital. Hospital parking charges were to be reduced – this has not happened.”

Public transport wasn’t improved

David Herbert

Dr David Hambleton, CCG’s chief officer, said: “We have been working closely with GP practices to help them to review access to appointments and we’ve been working with local pharmacists to develop the ‘Think Pharmacy First’ scheme to make people aware of the wide range of services available at their pharmacy.

“These are just some of the things that we are working on before the relocation can go ahead.”