Jarrow people urged to join fight to save walk-in centre

Jarrow Walk-in Centre is set to close its doors in October.
Jarrow Walk-in Centre is set to close its doors in October.

A campaigner has issued a rallying cry to residents to join the fight against the closure of a vital South Tyneside health facility – after hitting out at the lack of public consultation over the move.

Jarrow Walk-in Centre, based at the town’s Palmer Community Hospital, is set to relocate to a new Urgent Care Acute Hub in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital in October.

We want to know how these people were surveyed.

Gemma Taylor

The borough’s Clinical Commissioning Group – the body behind the transfer – has conducted a survey over six key issues over the transfer, including access to GPs, parking, and transport.

But Gemma Taylor, Public Service Alliance co-ordinator, says only 735 people have completed the survey, and called on more people to voice their views at a public meeting held in Jarrow this week.

She said: “We want to know how people were surveyed and will be writing to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (which assesses health plan reviews) to call for an investigation and to say we don’t think the six points can be met by October.”

The alliance is asking residents to attend the CCG meeting at Bede’s World, Jarrow, on July 23, to have a say, while a further public meeting will be held at The Alberta pub, in Jarrow, at 6.30pm on August 3.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, chairman of NHS South Tyneside CCG, said: “It’s important to be clear that this was a clinical decision, based on strong national evidence showing that a single urgent care hub can free up A&E staff to concentrate on the most urgent cases, with patients being guided to the best service for their needs.”