A campaign led by Bury North Labour MP James Frith together with Bury Council leader Rishi Shori and local Labour councillors won a significant victory this week to keep the walk-in centres in Bury open.
The walk-in centres in Bury and Prestwich were originally scheduled to close this year, but received a stay of execution until March 2018 after pressure was applied by Bury’s Labour Council and James Frith, who made saving Bury Walk-In Centre a central plank of his election campaign.
In the north of the borough, NHS Bury CCG have now confirmed that Moorgate Primary Care Centre will no longer close in March 2018, but will instead become an integrated health and social care hub for the town, with a GP-led walk-in facility retained.
In addition, a new Urgent Treatment Centre (‘UTC’) will be located alongside A&E at Fairfield Hospital in order to reduce A&E waiting times. The centre will also have walk-in appointments. The UTC is part of a significant boost in investment at Fairfield’s A&E and more detailed plans will be revealed in January.
In the south of the borough, Prestwich Walk-In Centre will remain unchanged until the development of an integrated health and social care hub which will include a GP-led walk-in facility. Under the proposals, Radcliffe will gain an integrated health and social care hub based at the Primary Care Centre, which for the first time will include walk-in provision.
James Frith said:
“I made saving our town’s walk-in centre my top priority during the election campaign and won with a clear mandate to do so. In addition to working locally with Bury Council and NHS Bury, I have lobbied ministers at a national level and held meetings with senior figures from NHS England to make the case for walk-in services to be retained as part of the national and regional re-design of urgent care. I am delighted that our voices have been heard and this shows the real difference a Labour MP working with a Labour council can make for our town.”
Cllr Rishi Shori said:
“Bury’s Labour Council has led the opposition to the closure of the walk-in centres from the start and have been determined to work with the NHS in Bury to find a solution which keeps these vital services open across our borough. Over 7,000 residents have added their support to our campaign to save Bury’s walk-in centres and we were delighted when James was elected and was able to work with us to take the campaign to the national level. This issue has proved that a Labour council working with two Labour MPs can deliver real change for the people of Bury.”