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Emergency meeting planned over Accrington Victoria hospital
6:00am Saturday 19th October 2013 in News
AN emergency meeting has been called to try and save health services in Accrington.
The chair and chief executive of the East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will attend a full council meeting to discuss its future.
The meeting was called after patients and councillors launched a campaign to save services at Accrington Victoria Hospital, which are likely to come under threat from NHS budget cuts.
The hospital’s popular GP walk-in centre is feared to be most at risk because it overspent by £1million last year.
Leader of Hyndburn Council, Coun Miles Parkinson, said: “We asked for the decision on the centre to be delayed until our full council meeting in December but the CCG said it couldn’t do it, so we had to call this extraordinary meeting.
“This a big issue. More than 33,000 residents use the service, which is nearly half the population of the borough, so it’s a very well used centre. If anybody wants to review or change the services, we need to take that person to task over it.”
Clare Pritchard, deputy leader of Hyndburn Council, urged people to sign a petition against any cuts at the Haywood Road site.
She said: “This is potentially the biggest change to local primary health care provision for many years and is a big deal for Hyndburn people.
“The walk-in centre at Accrington Victoria Hospital is a popular and valuable service.
“We feel to lose it would be the thin end of the wedge as we fear Hyndburn would eventually lose Accrington Victoria altogether.”
And Hyndburn MP, Graham Jones, said: “Coalition cuts are driving the CCG’s decision making. The coalition promised not to cut the health service budget but that’s exactly what they have done.
“The CCG is supposedly there to make decisions based on patients, but when front line services are being axed then I think they come under significant scrutiny in their role as managers of the health service.”
The council meeting, which will be open to the public, will meet at 7pm on Thursday, November 14, at Scaitcliffe House, Ormerod Street, Accrington.
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