News

Campaigners in emotional farewell to Accrington walk-in centre

They have vowed to fight for remaining services at the hospital

Enter your postcode to see news and information near you

Community updates, Crime Statistics, Local News & Events and much more...

Campaigners outside Accrington walk-in centre

Campaigners said an ‘emotional’ farewell to the Accrington Victoria GP walk-in centre after it closed its doors for the final time.

Their group ‘Save Accrington Walk-in Centre’ will now be re-named ‘Friends of Accrington Victoria Hospital’ as they vow to continue to fight for the interests of keeping the remaining services at the hospital.

East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group closed the GP walk-in centre at 8pm on Sunday, June 17, despite a 26,000-strong petition and months of campaigning. It had previously postponed the closure six times over a five-year period.

Dozens of supporters holding banners and placards thanking staff were joined by Hyndburn councillors and local MP Graham Jones.

They gathered for a solemn vigil to mark the centre’s closure - thanking staff as they left the premises, giving them flowers and sharing a trifle the staff had made for them.

Kimberley Whitehead, one of the campaign’s leading figures, described the event as ‘solemn’ - admitting she was in tears as the facility closed.

She said: “It was an emotional gathering - we were all quite sad. A lot of people turned up to give their support.

“The reality had set in and it was very sad day - it’s the end of an era.

“I am extremely angry with the management at the East Lancashire CCG.”

She added: “A huge thank-you to the lovely staff at the walk-in centre.

“I wish you all the best and good luck for the future. We’re renaming the group to ‘Friends of Accrington Victoria Hospital’ - we still need to continue to fight for our NHS services.

“We didn’t get what we wanted but we must remember that this is our community and these are our services and together we need to fight for them.”

Campaigners outside Accrington walk-in centre

East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group said their staff have been on site over the past few days to offer support to patients.

A spokesperson said: “Our initial experience has shown that our messages have been heard locally, with only a handful of people attending.

“We are continuing to raise awareness of the alternative services available for patients.

Show more

“More GP appointments have been made available locally in evenings and weekends and we are encouraging patients to contact their GP, pharmacy or NHS 111 who can signpost you to the right service.”