Wednesday, 16 January 2013

MP tells Commons of walk-in centre concerns

PROPOSED changes to urgent care services in Solihull have been raised in the Commons by Solihull MP Lorely Burt.

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The Liberal Democrat asked a health minister about the proposed shake-up, to be consulted on between April and July.

Health bosses have said there is “unnecessary duplication” between urgent care services at Solihull Hospital, in its A&E; out of hours, the walk-in centre and medical assessment unit.

Mrs Burt said on Tuesday: “A review of urgent care services by the new GP-led clinical commissioning group for Solihull is causing consternation as it is throwing the future of our highly regarded walk-in centre into doubt.

She asked Dr Daniel Poulter: “Does the Minister agree that users must be properly consulted, as services must be designed around patients, and that allocation to cost centres must come second to delivering services?”

Dr Poulter said: “I agree with my hon. Friend.

“Where there are well-functioning local services that have local support, commissioners should recognise that in their decisions, but it is also important to highlight that any reconfiguration of local services has to meet the four tests laid down by the previous Secretary of State: support from GP commissioners; strengthened public and patient engagement; clarity on the clinical evidence base; and support for patient choice.

“I hope that reassures my hon. Friend.”

In a press release, Mrs Burt said: “I am pleased that Dr Poulter agrees with me and that importantly, he believes that commissioners should recognise local support for local services when making their decisions.

“However, this is something that we are yet to see in Solihull and this is why I have been campaigning to ensure we see a proper consultation that the people of Solihull deserve.”

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