Patients are 'disgusted' with the closure of an Ilkeston walk-in centre
Protestors fighting to keep open an Ilkeston walk-in centre and family care practice have spoken of their ‘anger’ during a protest at the town’s community hospital.
They held a demonstration outside the care centre on Friday evening as they continued their fight to prevent its closure.
A petition, set up by campaign group, Save Ilkeston GP, has collected more than 5,000 signatures, displaying the town’s need for the practice to remain open.
Patients are concerned they may now have to run the risk of waiting more than a week for an appointment, when there is a possibility they may need immediate medical attention.
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Rob Nightingale, 60, who lives in Godfrey Drive, Kirk Hallam, has been using the practice for 18 months and he makes regular visits with his partner.
He said: “The closure will affect us quite a lot because we’ll sometimes have to make a quick appointment and I can usually get one within half an hour or an hour, not a week or two weeks.”
Lisa George, 42, and Roger Taylor, 38, of Mason Road, Ilkeston, said there is ‘definitely’ a need for it to stay open.
“When our son was ill we couldn’t get an appointment at the doctor’s surgery so we came straight here and we were seen with 10 to 15 minutes,” said, Mr Taylor.
"I work shifts, seven till seven, so it is the only place I can get an appointment if I ever need one, so there’s definitely a need for it to stay open," he added.
The site based at the town’s community hospital has more than 1,500 registered patients, but health trust NHS Derbyshire County said the decision to close it had been made by "mutual consent".
The trust said it was to reduce a duplication of services but the patients believe the statistics and figures are not more important than the people it affects.
Jenny Watts, 35, who lives in Mason Road, Ilkeston, just a five minute walk from the walk-in centre, said:
“The reason given for its closure is a laugh; this place is needed and wanted by its patients. The reasons are so horrible. We are not numbers we are people.
“I could see the same doctor every time, I knew who he was and more importantly he knew who I was. I believe there is no reason for this place to close at all.”
Dr Kumar, Medical Director for Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk-In Centre, said:
“We provided more than 20,000 appointments for walk-in patients in year one which has risen to just under 46,000 appointments in 2013.
“This is well above the required rate of 36,000 a year.”
NHS Derbyshire County has commissioned an extended hours service in Ilkeston’s other practices, offering one or two early mornings, late evenings or Saturday mornings.