Redbridge Council backs petition against closing Loxford Polyclinic walk-in service
PUBLISHED: 10:26 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 24 September 2018
A petition opposing the proposed closure of walk-in services at an Ilford polyclinic has gained more than 4,000 signatures and the unanimous backing of Redbridge Council.
The 4,421 signature petition, criticising proposals to end walk-in services at Loxford Polyclinic, was debated at a full council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall on Thursday (September 20).
Redbridge CCG, the body responsible for deciding which health services to provide in the borough, ran a 14-week consultation on changing its urgent care services between May and September this year.
Both options offered to residents in the consultation involve ending walk-in services at the Ilford Lane polyclinic, which provides 14,000 appointments a year, and replacing them with bookable appointments by calling NHS’ 111 services.
Goodmayes Ward (Lab) Cllr Neil Zammett told the chamber that he fears the closure of walk-in services would hurt the borough’s minorities.
He said: “We know that Loxford and Clementswood are among the most deprived and ethnically diverse area in London.”
Should walk-in services end, he added: “The CCG acknowledges that there will be a 16pc reduction in access.”
He spoke of how the NHS’s 111 call service “discriminates against Black and Asian” groups as well as the “economically deprived”.
Cllr Kam Rai, deputy council leader, spoke of how Loxford Polyclinic was originally intended to be one of five clinics built in Redbridge under plans set out in 2010.
“In the end money ran out and we only got Loxford,” he said.
He added: “We want to work with the CCG, but we need them to listen.”
Conservative Cllr Paul Canal also spoke in support of the petition.
He said: “We have to say enough is enough, we have to stop now and open a further polyclinic to help the people get the health care they deserve.”
A Redbridge CCG spokesman said: “Loxford Polyclinic will still offer the same number of appointments a year and it is not closing.
“The change would shorten waiting times and allow patients to be seen more quickly.
“We received more than 1,050 responses from members of the public and stakeholders and are now in the process of analysing all the feedback. He added that feedback from the petition will be considered once received.