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Posted by: John Brace | 14th September 2017

Councillors ask Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group to reconsider closure of Eastham Walk-in Centre

Councillors ask Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group to reconsider closure of Eastham Walk-in Centre

                                              

Protest about Eastham Walk-in Centre closure (Wallasey Town Hall) 13th September 2017

Protest about Eastham Walk-in Centre closure (Wallasey Town Hall) 13th September 2017



 

Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 13th September 2017 Part 1 of 4

Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 13th September 2017 Part 2 of 4

Councillors on Wirral Council’s Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee met yesterday evening to discuss the recent closure of a Walk-in Centre in Eastham.

Simon Banks (Chief Officer, Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group) explained that the closure was “temporary” so that staff there could be redeployed to Arrowe Park Hospital to reduce waiting times at its accident and emergency department. He explained that there would be a consultation starting in November on urgent care.

The direct bus route from Eastham to Arrowe Park Hospital had recently been withdrawn, but he said that they were engaged with Merseytravel on the subject of restoring transportation to enable people to get from Eastham to Arrowe Park Hospital.

The Vice-Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin expressed concern that the decision about such a major change hadn’t been referred first to the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Many councillors asked questions (which you can view in the videos above) and the following resolution (with a friendly amendment proposed by Cllr Phil Gilchrist) was agreed unanimously:

“Committee thanks Simon Banks and Karen Howell from Wirral CCG for their attendance at short notice to explain the reason for their decision to close Eastham Walk-In Centre with one weeks notice, without referring it to this Committee for scrutiny in advance of the closure.

Committee notes the explanation that the statutory responsibility of health providers to report significant changes in service delivery was overridden on this occasion because of their belief that the situation was so urgent that not to take this action would represent a serious risk to the safety of staff and patients.

Committee also notes the information given from the directive from the Secretary of State for Health to introduce streaming in A&E departments by mid-September.

However we remain concerned that the pressures on A&E at Arrowe Park have been present, understood and reported for a considerable period of time and the reasons for this are complex.

We therefore believe that planning for this change could and should have taken place at an earlier stage, so allowing for proper consultation to be carried out and also for the statutory responsibility duty to report the change to Committee to be fulfilled.

We also believe that in taking this decision insufficient consideration has been given to the difficulties this closure will present to those living in that part of the Borough. The reduced accessibility of Arrowe Park Hospital brought about by the recent withdrawal of the only direct bus service from Eastham to Arrowe Park and the information given to Members of this Committee that the streaming system recommended by the People Overview and Scrutiny Report in its Reducing Avoidable Admissions Report which was implemented and then withdrawn within less than a year, was withdrawn we were told because it did not reduce the pressure on A&E as anticipated.

We therefore request that a further report which details the impact of the closure on Wirral residents, particularly those living in that part of the Borough, any change in the performance in A&E at Arrowe Park Hospital and any savings which are realised as a result of this action be presented to the next meeting for further scrutiny.

We also request that Wirral CCG reconsider this decision and the Scrutiny Committee calls upon the CCG to recognise this as a formal request for early reinstatement of the service and to respond to the concerns raised quickly.”

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