BOSSES at Solihull's walk-in health centre have furiously rejected claims that the service is a costly white elephant saying the service actually saves the NHS money.
Solihull Ratepayers Association recently claimed the Lode Lane clinic was under threat of closure, after proposals to review the future of the premises emerged at a council meeting last month.
But medical director Dr Sunil Kotecha dismissed the report, arguing that the centre saved at least twice the amount it cost the NHS.
"This is a unique general practice where patients can register with us and then there are those that can walk in," he told the Solihull News.
"By the end of this year we will have seen between 70,000 and 72,000 patients who will come from all over Solihull so we are utilised by a huge cross section of the population."
Dr Kotecha added: "Treatment costs are very, very low - s18 per person and we also train GPs, paramedics and medical students, giving them a flavour of what a urgent general practice is. We fill the slot between A& E and general practice.
"The clinic also specialises in patients with a suspected clot such as a deep vein thrombosis who are directed straight to the centre as are those who present with dizziness.
"This means there is no duplication at A&E," said Dr Kotecha.
Patient Sandra Mearns is delighted with the service: "I came here twice as a walk-in patient and then registered.
"The beauty is convenience - I can come at weekends or before or after work."
A spokesperson for Solihull Care Trust said: "As part of our annual review of investments, we are looking at primary care access through walk in centres/urgent care centres across Birmingham and Solihull."
The Solihull healthcare & walk- in centre is open from 8am til 8pm every day including Bank Holidays and is still registering new patients. Call 0121 709 7711 for details.