Belmont walk-in health services likely to be cut

After closing the walk-in centre at Alexandra Avenue, Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is all set to end walk-in services at Belmont Health Centre, one of the remaining two such services in the borough.
Walk-in Centres and Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) are an alternative to accident and emergency (A&E) departments and treat minor illnesses and injuries, without an appointment.
Speaking at the Commons in April this year, Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas warned, “Not only is there no prospect that the Alexandra Avenue walk-in centre will be reopened, but other walk-in centres that serve Harrow are vulnerable to the threat of closure at a moment’s notice”.
Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, busy in attracting some voters by siding with Indian-occupied Kashmir politics, has not shown any such interest in this Harrow issue!
adamAdam Bernard (photo), Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Harrow East has started a petition to save the Belmont walk-in services.
“The plan seems to be that Harrow CCG will save money by forcing many people to seek treatment elsewhere. That plan might be good accountancy but it doesn’t seem likely to be good for patients” said Mr Bernard.
He is particularly worried that they justify this change by saying that it will allow them to deny services to people who live outside Harrow.
“Their plan has the effect of moving the costs to other CCGs, as well as inconveniencing patients in the process” Mr Bernard says.
PamHarrow councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick (photo), Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Harrow East, has criticised proposals to close the Belmont Walk in Centre and urged the government to provide sufficient resources to allow the centre to remain open.
Harrow CCG was put into special measures because its forecast deficit of £40 million due to the NHS cuts.
“The closure of Belmont Walk in Centre could not come at a worse time. The winter is approaching, Northwick Park is already overstretched and local people are often having to wait weeks for a GP appointment. This will only get worse if Belmont walk in clinic is closed” warns Ms Fitzpatrick.
Under the Labour government from 2000, 230 Walk in centres were opened nationwide – the Lib Dem/Tory Coalition government of 2010 closed 51 and the Tory government has closed a further 44 of the remaining 185 centres.