2nd Jul, 2022

Colleen Fletcher MP meets with health secretary to push for walk-in centre at University Hospital Coventry

John Carlon 24th Jan, 2020 Updated: 24th Jan, 2020

COLLEEN Fletcher, MP for Coventry North East has met with Health Secretary Matt Hancock to push for a second walk-in centre in Coventry.

She joined Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in the meeting to focus on high levels of unmet demand in Coventry’s primary care.

Mrs Fletcher believes Accident and Emergency services are under unprecedented strain. with long waits for acute care at University Hospital in Walsgrave.

The case was made to the Secretary of State that an additional out of hours service was needed in the city to alleviate some of the pressure on the overstretched A&E Department, and to ensure that those struggling to access urgent but non-life-threatening treatment could get the care they need without emergency treatment.

She said a second walk-in centre, situated onsite at UHCW and open 24/7, could be a practical solution by providing a high quality, cost effective and convenient service for minor health issues that do not require the full range of services offered by the A&E Department. This proposal would ensure that such patients presenting at A&E could be signposted to the centre and receive more timely and efficient treatment and advice, while also allowing tight resources at the hospital to be used more effectively and efficiently.

On January 8, Mrs Fletcher spoke at Prime Minister’s Questions to lobby for meetings over a second walk-in centre.

She told the House of Commons about local concerns over waiting times for emergency treatment at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.

Patients waited up to seven hours to be seen over one weekend in October.

Ms Fletcher said: “In Coventry, like much of the rest of the country, hospital A&E waiting times have been under constant pressure, with the latest figures showing that almost a quarter of attendances are waiting four hours or more to be seen.

“I am aware that the government has made commitments to invest in the NHS, so would the Prime Minister agree to meet a delegation from Coventry to discuss the possibility of a second walk in centre, to alleviate some of the pressure on our overstretched A&E department?”

Responding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested he would be happy to meet the delegation, or Health Secretary Matt Hancock would arrange discussions.

Speaking after the meeting, Colleen said: “It was an extremely positive meeting. The Secretary of State seemed to recognise the high levels of demands on our A&E Department and acknowledged that a properly resourced, onsite walk-in centre could alleviate some of the pressure. He mentioned that similar treatment models had been implemented successfully at other hospitals elsewhere in the country, so we should be positive about the benefits that this proposal could have on urgent healthcare treatment in our city.

“It was also encouraging that the Secretary of State urged the hospital to draw up plans and submit a funding bid for an onsite walk-in centre, although he regrettably made no firm commitment that funding would be forthcoming.

She added: “I took the opportunity during the meeting to invite the Secretary of State to visit UHCW to see first-hand some of the problems we are experiencing, and I hope he will accept that invitation and visit our city shortly.

“In the meantime, I will continue the fight to secure a second walk-in centre in Coventry, so we can give the residents of our city the first-class health services they rightly demand and provide those that work in the NHS the space and capacity they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.”

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