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Statement regarding the closure of the walk-in centre at Hyndburn

walk in centre

The contract for the Walk in Centre in Hyndburn finishes on 31 March 2017. The Walk in Centre was introduced under an initiative to provide extended GP access for the whole of East Lancashire. Over the last two years, the CCG has been working with GPs and patients to develop a model of extended GP access which extends their relationship with their GP practice. The proposal, which the CCG ran a consultation on over the summer will provide extended access to GP services in Hyndburn from 8am to 8pm. The service will be accessed in the first instance by telephone. The CCG will be investing in additional childrens appointments and will provide care navigators to help support patients with the range of additional services that are available. We will aim to run the new service alongside the Walk in Centre for a very limited period to enable a smooth transition.

We undertook pre-consultation engagement in March 2016 in Hyndburn and carried out a full 12 week public consultation undertaken between April and July 2016. We achieved editorial in every newspaper and local magazine, and all three radio stations in the area featured the consultation. We reached nearly 20,000 people on social media, and we distributed 13,000 Paper Questionnaires distributed to 58 GP practices and worked with patient participation groups to obtain responses. Along with advertising in every newspaper with questionnaire supplements and presentations throughout the area, we believe we have worked hard to promote the consultation and encourage responses.

We received over 2,000 responses across East Lancashire, and of those, 678 responses from Hyndburn residents. The responses from those who took part in the consultation have given us valuable insight into peoples’ views and we have used those responses to help shape the model as we progress. We are very grateful and would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation.

The CCG held a patient engagement event in October 2016 where it shared data which showed that people who use the Walk in Centre could be supported by the proposed new model or they could use a local pharmacy or administer self care. A patient reference group has been established who will be checking the proposed model as it is developed to ensure that it is workable and will meet the needs of the population.

The proposal to extend access to GP services through the hub is only one part of a range of investments that the CCG has made which, when working all together, will help patients in Hyndburn. This year the CCG has invested over £1m in the community and voluntary sector. This follows investment in two previous years amounting to £1.25m. Next year it is planning to invest a further £1m. A significant number of patients attend their GP, and have also attended the Walk in Centre, with non-medical problems that can be helped through this investment which is known as social prescribing. The CCG has partnered with Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Community and Voluntary Service (CVS), and with its counterpart in Burnley to manage this scheme.

The CCG has invested heavily in a scheme to support the elderly and those with long-term conditions through additional nurses and therapists in Hyndburn. This amounts to £500,000 for residents in East Lancashire, including Hyndburn, and involves a Care Coordinator who works with GPs and other health professionals to ensure that those who need it, receive the right care at the right time. The service has been evaluated and is already helping patients to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and ensure independence and improved health outcomes. The CCG has agreed to invest in this service further in the next year. In addition to this, the CCG has invested in nurses whose work is to support the people who are over the age of 75 in Hyndburn.

Finally, working with the Lancashire Women’s Centre, the CCG has invested over £500,000, to support and improve access to talking therapies. Most recently, the CCG was awarded funding to support people who have long-term conditions with talking therapies, a need which has been highlighted by many services when patients attend them.

Our investment in these services, and our vision of extending access to GP services represents our commitment to support people to receive care closer to home.

Having consulted with the public, and attended meetings with Hyndburn Borough Council and Patient Groups, the CCG is aware of the concern about the proposed change. The CCG is working with local GPs to ensure that the service meets patients’ needs and wish to reassure patients and members of the public that it will ensure that the transition to the new model is smooth, safe and sound. As with any change, it will constantly monitor the service and make improvements as it develops. Everyone will be kept updated about progress and the service as it launches.