Pressure on Shropshire’s A&E departments will be ramped up when a walk-in health service at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital closes later this year, a councillor has warned.
Councillor Joan Gorse made the claim at a meeting of Wellington Town Council this week, where members discussed the planned closure of the Malling Health Wrekin walk-in centre, based next to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
During the heated discussion, Councillor Gorse said: “This is a slippery slope for our health service locally, and I’m afraid local people are going to suffer because they’re not going to be able to find a GP, let alone hospital services, and it’s going to add pressure onto our accident and emergency department right away.
“And it won’t be just Wellington that’s going to be affected, it’s going to be the whole area. It’s really worrying.”
The centre, which opened in 2009, is due to shut in July.
Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group said the decision had been taken as its contract was up for renewal, it had staffing issues relying on locum GPs, and half a million pounds would need to be spent on the ageing building it is based in.
Councillor Miles Hosken branded the decision to close the health centre ‘an absolute disgrace’.
He said: “Confidence in the CCG and national health in this area is nil. A number of people have told me they are concerned about what’s going on, they’re considering moving out of the area altogether.
“In fairness to the leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Shaun Davies, he has acted and reacted straight away, but the fact of the matter is he’s the major person of the borough. Why was he only invited once or twice to the CCG meetings?
“He should have been invited to every one. He is there for the borough and I’m afraid the people of the borough have been very badly let down.”
Councillor Hosken called for representatives from the CCG and MPs to meet with town councillors to discuss the situation. He added: “I want us to invite someone here with reactive methodology to discuss what we want them to do.
“I want the CCG stood here in front of me, I want to do it not just for my family but for the 2,700 people who voted me in.”
Councillors voted unanimously for the town council to write a letter to the CCG and local MPs to request they meet with them.Subscribe to our Newsletter