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Health chiefs risk healthcare blackhole in the heart of Wakefield.

Wakefield MP Simon Lightwood has vowed to fight any plans to close the King Street walk-in centre after it emerged health bosses are considering closing the centre and relocating the service elsewhere.

Despite assurances from health chiefs during the Wakefield by-election that the service was safe, recent papers presented at the Adult Services, Public Health and the NHS Committee confirm that urgent care services are being reviewed and that one of the options being seriously considered is its relocation.

Simon has questioned the quality of engagement which was undertaken in late last year when regular “walk-ins” were not possible due to the ongoing pandemic and so the general usage of the building and the reach of the engagement was severely limited.

Commenting on the developments Simon Lightwood MP said:

“I made protecting our NHS services front and centre of my by-election campaign, including fighting to save the King Street walk-in centre.

“I am very concerned that despite assurances, the NHS in Wakefield are considering closing and relocating the King Street service.

“We’ve already seen the GP service at King Street close and now the walk-in service is under threat, despite providing a vital lifeline for residents, including those struggling to access GP appointments.

“Some of our poorest communities rely on the walk-in centre, many of which would struggle to travel outside of the city centre. The closure of King Street would leave a healthcare black hole in the heart of our city.

“It is important that healthcare bosses know how much we value and depend on the walk-in service in the city centre.”

During the Wakefield by-election NHS bosses issued a public statement following a Labour-led campaign to protect King Street. They announced that the centre would not be closing in September 2022 and that the NHS was working to develop and enhance the service.

However, the statement failed to disclose the possibility that the King Street building could close, and the service relocated as part of its review of urgent care.

Simon is calling for residents to sign the petition to protect King Street walk-in, available on his website Over 1700 people have already signed the petition.

The King Street walk-in centre remains open for business.


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