More than 1,000 people sign-up to say ‘no’ to closure in first week
A campaign launched last week to save the Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre based at Ilkeston Community Hospital has been welcomed by patients, who are desperate to keep the facility open.
In just one week, more than 600 people have joined the Facebook group set up to oppose the closure, and more than 400 local residents have signed an online petition.
The campaign organisers are now hopeful that local MP, Jessica Lee, will get behind the protest, by adding her name to the petition and raising the issue in Parliament, on behalf of her angry constituents.
The closure, scheduled for 28 February 2013, was announced last week by local media, with no prior consultation or communication to patients. With more than 1,500 people registered at the GP Practice, and more than 9,000 appointments held at the Walk In Centre during the last three months, its closure will have a huge impact to Ilkeston and surrounding areas.
This week, a letter was posted out to patients by NHS Derbyshire, stating that the decision had been due to ‘duplication of services’. However, this is being strongly disputed by patients, as the Ilkeston Walk In Centre is the only facility covering Ilkeston and the local vicinity offering appointments between 08.00 – 20.00, seven days a week.
Posters are now on display across the region, and due to the overwhelming response and feedback from residents to date, paper copies of the petition will be distributed to key locations around Ilkeston and surrounding areas this weekend, to ensure everyone can voice their opinion.
The group has a real belief that the Centre can be saved, after being made aware of many walk in centres being saved from intended closure across the UK following public protest, including locally at Ashfield and Derby.
People are invited to visit the website which has been set up - www.saveilkestongp.co.uk where further information can be found about how to sign the online petition.