The New Cross GP Walk-In Centre is set to close in March even though a petition to save the centre was supported by more than 2,000 signatures.
Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body has made the decision to close the walk-in centre at the end of March. The centre, based at the Waldron Health Centre in Amersham Vale, offered GP services without appointment as well as treating minor injuries and providing clinics for conditions such as asthma.
The closure follows a public consultation last year where 82 per cent of respondents did not support the closure of the centre. Most thought that a closure of the centre would result in more stress being placed on the already stretched A&E services in Lewisham.
Dr Marc Rowland, Chair of NHS Lewisham CCG said: “We will monitor and impact on A&E at local hospitals and other services.
“Members of the Governing Body reached this difficult decision as we believe that the Walk-in Centre service model does not provide the best health outcomes for Lewisham residents. We are confident that the alternative services we have commissioned are able to better meet the on-going needs of all of our population.”
New Cross Councillor Joe Dromey, who launched a petition to save the centre, said: “It’s disappointing given overwhelming opposition to the closure.”
“Demand is rising and performance against A&E target is falling. Now is not the time to close New Cross Walk-In which saw 30,000 patients last year.” According to CCG data, 39 per cent of patients attending the centre lived outside of the borough.
The CCG believe that local residents needs can be “more effectively met in alternative services including pharmacies and the GP Extended Access.” With the closure of the centre, they believe that it will reduce confusion with urgent primary services and will make it easier for people to know where they can get help. It also argues that closing the centre will free funding to be spent on other Lewisham health needs.