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31 January 2018

8,000 strong petition opposes closure of Sheffield health services

Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party

Socialist Party members took part as over 8,000 signatures on petitions were presented by Sheffield Save Our NHS, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Labour Party members against the proposed closure of the minor injuries unit at Hallamshire hospital and the walk-in centre in Sheffield to a meeting of the clinical commissioning group (CCG).

The CCG argues that these proposals aren't about making cuts, but to improve access to GP appointments. It says that the money 'saved' would be 'moved around' to fund GPs surgeries grouping together to offer patients a same- day appointment.

They also say: "There's lots of places that provide urgent care... we've heard it's quite confusing. Patients don't know where to go or when to go in many cases."

So the CCG is proposing closures so that patients aren't confused!

People use these services precisely because they can't get GP appointments.

If the CCG really wants to make GP same-day appointments possible, then they should invest in that first and prove that it will actually work.

These proposals must be stopped. But the consultation exercise is a sham. It's a tick box exercise where all the options are variants of what the CCG wants with no option of keeping the walk-in centre and minor injuries unit open.

Our campaigning has forced an extension of the consultation period and put back the date of the final decision to September. We must use that time to build as big a campaign of opposition as possible to stop these closures.