A CALL has gone out for people in South Tyneside to gather in a bid to save a doomed walk-in centre.
A rally has been organised by the South Tyneside Public Service Alliance (PSA) in protest over plans to close the Jarrow Walk-In Centre.
It is vital that we keep the fight to keep the walk-in centre open at the top of the political agenda in the run up to the general election.Merv Butler, chairman of the South Tyneside Public Service Alliance
The event is set to take place on Saturday, March 28, outside Jarrow Town Hall, at 11am and the town’s MP Stephen Hepburn will be among the speakers.
The South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the decision to close the centre and relocate services at the walk-in centre to a new urgent care hub at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields, last November.
Health bosses have said the hub, which is set to open in October, would see up to £2m saved annually. Campaigners feel the people of Jarrow and Hebburn are being left without an adequate service as 27,000 people attended the walk-in last year.
Merv Butler, chairman of the PSA, says its vital that people continue their fight to keep the walk-in centre open.
He said: “I am delighted that Mr Hepburn has accepted the PSA’s invitation to speak at the rally.
“Final details of the event and other speakers will be published next week.
“It is vital that we keep the fight to keep the walk-in centre open at the top of the political agenda in the run-up to the general election.”
Campaigners were dealt with a further blow last week after they were informed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt would not be carrying out a review into the closure,
The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) – which assesses all calls for reviews – ruled that the closure plan is not suitable for a full review by Mr Hunt.
It said it is satisfied that, if the six recommendations outlined by the CCG’s consultation are put in place within a suitable timescale, then all parties involved should be “confident that local primary health services capacity in Jarrow and Hebburn is sufficient to mitigate for the change”.