Following the recent announcement by the Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that Erdington Walk in Centre and Kingstanding Urgent Care Centre would be kept open for at least the next 18 months, Andrew Mitchell MP for Sutton Coldfield, joined by Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative, Erdington Ward) met with Carol Hegarty and staff from the Birmingham CCG to discuss the long term future of the Walk in Centre and Urgent Care Centre sites across the Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield area.
The meeting discussed the upcoming urgent care strategy being written by the Birmingham CCG, the purpose of the strategy is to simplify the way urgent care is available across the Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield areas. It is hoped that the strategy will be released in the winter. The CCG have given a guarantee that the £9 million urgent care budget for the local area is ring fenced and so will remain at that level of funding in the coming years. Once the urgent care strategy is decided this will show the likely long term future of local walk in centres. The meeting also covered concerns over any potential merging of Walk in Centres with A and E departments and the potential gaps in coverage for areas without hospitals.
Andrew Mitchell MP, said "I organised the meeting with the CCG as, although the Erdington Walk-in Centre is outside of my constituency, I am aware from my postbag that my constituents use the walk-in centre to access urgent care services locally. I was, therefore, pleased to learn that the Group has no plans to close the Centre."
"I support the wider aim to simplify access to urgent care in Birmingham and I know that my constituents will welcome the CCG's commitment to reducing pressure on local services ahead of the winter months."
Cllr Robert Alden commented "the assurances that the centres will remain open for the short to medium term are very much appreciated. However we are not taking anything for granted and are already holding meetings and pushing the case to ensure that their long term futures are also secured for the benefit of local residents. We used this meeting to once again stress the case for keeping the Erdington and Kingstanding centres open, not just short term but also in the long term as well".
Andrew and Robert are pictured leaving the successful meeting at Bartholomew House, where the Birmingham CCG offices are based