Jarrow walk-in centre: Campaigners call for emergency meeting over closure

Jarrow Walk-in Centre at Palmer Community Hospital is earmarked for closure.
Jarrow Walk-in Centre at Palmer Community Hospital is earmarked for closure.

Campaigners are calling for councillors to hold an extraordinary meeting in a bid to save the doomed Jarrow Walk-in Centre.

Members of the Save Jarrow Walk-In Centre Campaign (SJWIC) are concerned there has been no mention of a risk analysis being carried out into the effects the closure will have on the borough’s vulnerable people and families.

Save Jarrow Walk In Centre supporters make their way to Monkton Hall

Save Jarrow Walk In Centre supporters make their way to Monkton Hall

The South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the decision to close the centre and move it to a new urgent care acute hub at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields.

The move, which will take place next month, is a bid to make annual savings of up to £2m

Gemma Taylor, Public Service Alliance co-ordinator – who is acting on behalf of the campaigners, is now urging South Tyneside’s Council’s Overview and Coordinating and Call In Committee to discuss the concerns they have over a lack of risk studies being carried out.

A letter sent by Ms Taylor to the committee’s chairman Coun Rob Dix, read: “Given that you are all elected members who are responsible to serve the needs of the community, we are at a loss to understand why you are so steadfast in your view that the work of the committee is complete when such an important aspect as risk of harm appears not to have been explicitly assessed by the CCG.

“How is it that no before and after risk assessment has been openly presentedm especially of the 
remote and vulnerable communities it serves. If this were done, it would show the necessity to keep the current walk-in centre open. ”

But council bosses say that the matter has been considered in great depth and measures have been put in place to monitor the move.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “The decision to relocate Jarrow Walk-In Centre was made by South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group.

“We appreciate this is a very emotive issue and, for this reason, the matter has been considered in great depth by the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating and Call In Committee which unanimously agreed that the decision be referred to the Secretary of State.

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel, chaired by Lord Ribeiro, concluded that the referral was not suitable for full review because further local action by the NHS with the council could address the issues raised.

“The Health and Wellbeing Board has put measures in place to monitor progress during the first six months after the move as well as carry out an access audit to see how well the new hub is used by patients from across South Tyneside.”