Bury and Prestwich Walk-In Centres SAVED!
The campaign has been led by Bury North and South Lab parties, together with the MPs and Bury Lab Council, but with significant involvement from other activists and socialist parties.
It began when Bury CCG announced that it was planning to close both WICs when their contracts ran out in April 2017. The Lab Council (against Tory opposition, which supported the closures) opposed the closures and forced the CCG to hold a formal consultation after its period of “ public engagement” ran out. The LP started a public petition which eventually gathered over 7,000 signatures in the town centre, outside metro stations and on-line, with the help of nonLab activists too. We asked public questions at Council meetings and questioned the CCG rep at Council Health Scrutiny Cttee meetings. The LP Bury South MP (Ivan Lewis), also spoke out, and the CCG’s own survey showed over 80% of the public opposed to the closures. It became a major local issue (and eg people would come up to us to thank us for petitioning). There was then an angry CCG Primary Care Commissioning Cttee meeting to discuss the issue which we packed out (incl. Lab councillors). If the CCG didn’t appreciate the extent of public anger before this meeting, they did afterwards, and they eventually postponed their public consultation meetings and announced that they would keep the WICs open until April 2018 while they awaited new advice coming from NHS England and then from the GM Health & Social Care Partnership.
In May ‘17, with the help of GM People’s Assembly and KONP, we held a v successful pre-election NHS Roadshow stall and petitioning in Bury town centre (speakers from the Roadshow, Unison and both Bury Lab candidates) focussing on the closures as well as #vote NHS. I believe the NHS England advice when issued favoured WICs but there was then a lull until the publication of the CMHSCP recommendations which, in line with national advice, called for an Urgent Treatment Centre in every CCG area (Bury doesn’t have one). We asked questions about the WICs at the CCG’s PCC Cttee meeting in early Nov, and then the announcement was made at the following CCG Gov Board meeting.
Bury CCG is proposing to cut the two walk-in centres in Bury, ie the Bury Urgent Treatment Centre and the Prestwich Walk-in Centre, when the contract with Pennine Care runs out next March. I believe there was a protest involving Andy Burnham (Labour’s candidate for GM mayor) outside the Bury Centre on Friday, and there was a Labour Party petition stall in Prestwich yesterday, with about 30 people and signing up the vast majority of passers-by. The LP on-line petition about the Prestwich closure also now has about 3,000 signatures and can be found at : https://www.change.org/p/bury-ccg-clinical-commissioning-group-stop-the-closure-of-the-prestwich-and-bury-walk-in-centres.
Bury KONP has now been formed contact will be Richard Harvey. Anyone in the Bury area interested in saving the NHS
Please contact us and we will forward your details on to Richard.