Special meeting could bid to save doomed Jarrow walk-in centre

CLOSURE CONFIRMED ... the walk-in centre at Palmers Community Hospital, Jarrow.
CLOSURE CONFIRMED ... the walk-in centre at Palmers Community Hospital, Jarrow.

COUNCIL bosses in South Tyneside are calling a special meeting in a bid to save a doomed health centre.

South Tyneside Council is to hold an overview and scrutiny coordinating committee, after South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision to close Jarrow Walk-in Centre at Palmer Community Hospital.

It will be held at South Shields Town Hall on Wednesday, December 3, at 6pm.

The centre, which is used by 27,000 people annually, will be relocated at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, next year to form an urgent care hub.

Councillors will consider whether to ask the Secretary of State to review the CCG’s decision.

Coun Robert Dix, chairman of the committee, said: “As part of the consultation on this matter, local people made their concerns known, and gave a resounding thumbs down to the proposal to re-locate the centre to South Tyneside District Hospital.

“Despite this, the CCG has decided to go ahead with the move anyway, which we feel flies in the face of the views of local people.

“This meeting will allow us to debate what steps we can take to preserve this service.”

The move aims to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to A&E and hopes to make savings of up to £2m a year.

Matthew Walmsley, chairman of the CCG and a local GP, said: “It is absolutely untrue to say that the borough as a whole has opposed our plans.

“We have listened carefully to people’s concerns, and agreed a series of measures to tackle the issues raised through public consultation.

“These changes are not about making cuts to services or investment, and deliberately misrepresenting them as such to the public is very unhelpful.”

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