A Patient and former nurse have added their weight to the fight against Accrington Victoria walk-in centre’s closure.
The petition in support of the walk-in centre has gained nearly 17,000 signatures and organisers hope to hit 20,000 by the time it is handed to Parliament on March 10.
The campaign to save the walk-in centre had reached its vital final weeks.
Abigail Woodcock, 20, used the walk-in centre on February 11 after waking up with severe stomach pains.
Abigail, of Oakwood Road in Baxenden, said she was quickly prioritised due to her severe pain and quickly sent to Royal Blackburn for surgery to remove her appendix.
She said: “Without the walk-in centre I would have had to have sat in A&E for hours and it could have been more serious.
"Within about nine hours I was in surgery after going to the walk-in centre at 11am.”
Abigail, a student at Liverpool Edge Hill University, said the alternative would see queues in GP surgeries ‘building and building’, adding: “I know a lot of people in Accrington who feel the same way and don’t want the walk-in centre to close.”
Former nurse and health visitor Sylvia Foster praised staff after her recent visit to the walk-in centre and questioned how bosses could justify the closure given how well-used it is.
Mrs Foster visited the walk-in centre on January 28 and was full of praise for staff in the busy walk-in GP service.
She said: “There was a welcoming atmosphere and no-one was agitated. There were about nine people there when I arrived, including three mothers with young children - many other people arrived after. The doctor was very considerate and caring.”
She said she was pleased with the doctor, whose notes were promptly passed to her own GP, who she visited two days later.
Mrs Foster, 80, is originally from Accrington and lives in Simonstone - she says she travels to the town regularly and trained as a nurse at Victoria Hospital in 1954.
She added: “Where would all the patients go to if the service was not available?
“Where are these doctors going to be when the walk-in centre closes because its a service that the a lot of the public use?”
The Observer says...
THE figures for Accrington Victoria walk-in centre speak for themselves.
Around 17,000 people made it clear they oppose plans to close this vital local facility.
Figures from 2015 show around 34,000 people were using the hospital a year - nearly 100 a day.
But this is not just about numbers - it is about people.
To take this much-used facility away from people is madness.
It has already received five stays of execution but needs to be saved permanently.
Hyndburn often finds itself at the thin end of the wedge when it comes to cuts, and the Observer stands squarely with our readers when we say: Hands off our walk-in centre.