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Health Bosses Confirm Key Role of Putnoe Walk In Centre Over Winter Following Successful Campaign Against Closure

April 5, 2019 8:30 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Liberal Democrats Campaigning to Save Putnoe Walk-In Centre from ClosureHealth bosses have publicly acknowledged the important role played by Putnoe Walk-In Centre relieving the pressure on A&E over the winter period, which was one of the central arguments made by Mayor Dave Hodgson during the successful campaign to save the centre from closure.

At the Bedford Borough Council Adults and Health Scrutiny Committee meeting earlier this week, the Bedfordshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) acknowledged the importance of the Putnoe Walk-In Centre and how it helped relieve the pressure on A&E and the new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) over the Winter period. The BCCG had planned to close the walk-in centre last year on the basis that it would not be required in light of the new UTC on the Bedford Hospital South Wing site.

Mayor Dave argued against this robustly both in public and in private, making a powerful case that the evidence demonstrated that in addition to our over-stretched A&E, Bedford needed both the new UTC and the Walk-In Centre services. Ultimately, the campaign to save the centre fought by Mayor Dave and the Liberal Democrats alongside local residents and other campaigners was successful, with another two year contract for the service announced in September. Now, NHS bosses have confirmed that Putnoe Walk-In Centre has continued to play a key role in the local urgent care system following the opening of the UTC, as Mayor Dave had insisted it would.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "The evidence of the huge demand at A&E and patient numbers at the walk-in centre all pointed to one thing. Closing the walk-in centre would not only have reduced access to an important service for many thousands of people, but would make the severe pressures faced by our A&E service even worse. Confirmation of the important role played by the Walk-In Centre this winter in relieving the pressure on A&E is another reminder of how utterly critical it was that we won the fight to keep it open, and once again a huge thanks to everyone who signed the peititions, responded to the consultation or supported the campaign in any way."