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GPs at the Pinn Medical Centre have called for NHS England to rethink proposed cuts to the Walk-in Centre, otherwise 40,000 patients a year will be left with no other choice but A&E.
- The Pinn Medical Centre is rated Outstanding – the highest rating possible – by the Care Quality Commission.
- The Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is proposing a cut of £500,000 to the Pinn’s budget over four years. That’s half the funding for The Pinn’s Walk-in-Centre.
- The Pinn can’t simply reduce the service by half. Instead, there would be a significant decline in the quality of care offered to all patients – and lead to some being turned away.
Senior GPs at The Pinn – Amol Kelshiker, Isobel Bleehan, Mehul Lakhani and Jonathan Rudolph – highlight the real threat:
“We see 40,000 patients a year. You don’t need to book or be registered. If you’re ill, we’re ready to see you, 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year. No other Medical Centre in Harrow opens its doors in this way to serve this number of patients, or provides such a wide range of services.”
A&E does an excellent job in challenging circumstances, but if you’re a new mother with an ill baby, or someone with dementia, it can be an overwhelming place.
The Pinn takes the strain off A&E. It gets paid an average of £17 per patient, but the same patient seen at A&E costs the NHS many times that amount. It makes no sense to cut this service at a time when A&E is struggling, and other local walk-in centres have reduced their services.
“Lives could be at risk if The Pinn is restricted to prebookable appointments only, as Alexandra Avenue is now.”
Even senior medical staff at Northwick Park Hospital have raised serious concerns about the possible closure of The Pinn’s walk in facility, as have local MPs.
Write to your local MP (House of Commons, London SW1A 1AA) and ask them to raise the issue with the Secretary of State or NHS England. Their email addresses are – for Pinner: firstname.lastname@example.org; for Harrow West: email@example.com; and for Harrow East: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also write to your London Borough Councillor. Find their details at harrow.gov.uk or hillingdon.gov.uk. And you can write direct to the Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group saying how much you value the present walk in arrangements at the Pinn Medical Centre. Its address is Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group, The Heights, 59-65 Lowland Road, Harrow HA1 3AW. Its email address is email@example.com
Finally you might also like to write to one of the local or national newspapers saying how much you oppose the possible closure of the walk in centre, and how much you value the service it provides.