Corby Urgent Care Centre: Changes put on hold by judge

Image caption,
Corby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wanted to change the Urgent Care Centre to appointment-only

Plans to turn a walk-in medical centre into an appointment-only service have been put on hold after legal action.

A High Court judge ruled there must be a full public consultation about changes to Corby's Urgent Care Centre.

The NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) which pays for the service had argued the process was not necessary.

Campaigners, who raised funds for a judicial review, said they were "very pleased" while the CCG said it "respected" the ruling.

The centre opened in 2012 and treats about 75,000 patients annually, providing a walk-in GP service, minor injuries unit and diagnostics.

'Mightily relieved'

At the High Court hearing in Cardiff, Judge Milwyn Jarman QC said: "It was not only the quality of service which made the centre popular, but ease of access and any change to it had the potential to be seen as a loss to Corby.

"There was no good reason for not fulfilling the legitimate expectation of consultation which the CCG had raised."

Corby Urgent Care Centre's director, Lorna Garner, said: "We know this is a necessary service so we're mightily relieved they will retain it until a thorough consultation has taken place and the good people of Corby have had an opportunity to have their voices heard."

The Save Corby Urgent Care Action Group said: "This judgment tells us that Corby CCG have not fulfilled their legal obligations and duties.

"The Action Group agree there are issues with access to primary care in Corby and the surrounding area, but addressing these should not be at the expense of our walk-in centre."

NHS Corby CCG argued they had "engaged intensively with the public" about local healthcare services.

In a statement it said: "We will now consider with NHS England as a matter of urgency what further actions we need to take to deliver a consultation."

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