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Six-month reprieve for Bradford medical centre?
A walk-in medical centre that is under threat of closure could get a six-month reprieve, a meeting heard last night.
Health chiefs considering the future of the pioneering Hillside Bridge walk-in centre in Barkerend have applied for an extension on the centre’s current contract, which runs out in March.
The contract for the centre was due to end next month, but was granted a four-month extension until March. If the latest application is successful, the centre will remain open until the end of September.
Councillor Ghazanfer Khaliq (Lab), whose Bradford Moor ward is home to Hillside Bridge, told the meeting of the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee: “That is reassuring because I was quite concerned after reading the report.
“The Bradford Moor and Barkerend area is the most deprived in the district of Bradford. Taking this facility away from there will put a burden on other services.”
The report was presented by Helen Hirst, chief officer of Bradford City and Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). She was flanked by the CCG’s head of service improvement Vicki Wallace, and clinical board member Dr Aamer Khan.
Mrs Hirst said: “The report gives us a key message – people who use the centre like the centre, but if they did not have to use it they wouldn’t. They would rather go to their own GP.”
Coun Doreen Lee (Keighley East, Labour) said: “If it is going to close, and it is probably inevitable it will, where will the new provision be and when will they be in place. If it is down to money, where do we stand?”
Mrs Hirst responded: “The vast majority of centres have closed up and down the country. Closure is clearly an option and not an unreasonable option given the amount of people who use it.
“But it is not about money and saving money. If we close Hillside there is no plan other than to reinvest money in primary care access.”
The meeting heard that many people who use the walk-in centre do so because they struggle to get appointments with their own GP.
Health chiefs said investment was on-going to improve the quality of practices across Bradford.
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