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Government Minister Caroline Spelman backs drive to keep Solihull Walk-in Health Centre open

MP Caroline Spelman is backing calls to save Solihull walk-in centre from the axe.

MP Caroline Spelman is backing calls to save Solihull walk-in centre from the axe.

A report to the local health board questions whether the walk in concept - and there are seven in the region - provides clear health benefits or value for money.

This is despite the Solihull unit - which treats about 2,000 walk-in patients a week - being shown to be vastly more cost effective compared to its Birmingham neighbours.

Now centre users, registered patients, MPs and councillors are backing our call to ensure this vital facility in the grounds of Solihull Hospital stays open for local residents and the wider community.

The threatening report came from the Solihull and Birmingham Cluster Board which is is in the process of handing over to new Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Currently a more thorough review of the regions walk-in centres is being carried out before the Clinical Commisioning Groups take over responsibility for commissioning care services from April next year.

However patients are in no doubt that the Lode Lane centre should stay: "This is terrible news," 92-year-old Dennis Cantello told us.

"This service is vital. I'm here with my wife, our doctor actually sent us here to get things moving a bit quicker for her," the Knowle resident added.

John Ventura from Shirley said: "If this [walk-in centre] does close, there will just be more people clogging up A&E. It will be a real shame if this service goes."

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman added: "The walk in facility is a valuable provision for my constituents who often find it difficult to get an appointment with their local GP and it also takes the pressure off the Accident and Emergency department so whilst no decisions have been made about its future my view would be its important to keep it."

Councillor Martin Hewings (Lib Dem, Elmdon), member of the Healthier Communities Scrutiny Board said: "It would take a very strong argument to convince me that this facility should close."

Syd Ashby, chairman of Solihull Pensioners Convention said it would be a tragedy if the facility was taken away.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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