A COUNTY councillor has launched a campaign to save Accrington’s walk-in centre.

Cllr Clare Pritchard launched the petition after proposals to replace the Health Access Walk-in Centre, in Accrington Victoria Community Hospital, with a ‘health hub’, were revealed.

These hubs, staffed by GPs and nurses, would be accessed by patients telephoning their GP practice.

East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who currently fund the centre, has begun a consultation period about its closure, which runs until Friday, July 8.

Cllr Pritchard said: “It seems that we need to start again on the campaign to save the walk-in GP service at Accrington Victoria.

“I will be starting another campaign to prevent the closure of this service.

“It is important that everybody in Hyndburn comes together and helps to save this really valuable facility.

“If the centre shuts or inadequate changes are made, it will put further strain on the Minor Injuries Unit and Blackburn’s A&E and we all know they will be unable to cope.”

Accrington Victoria’s Minor Injuries Unit closed for three days this week for staff to assist at Blackburn and Burnley Hospitals during strike action.

One Accrington resident said: “We need more services, not less.

“We cannot let this close.”

A campaign set up last year to save the centre accrued more than 3,500 signatures and resulted in the service remaining open to the public.

Cllr Pritchard, who represents Accrington North, said: “The usage of the centre is not falling, so I think people need to be heard again.

“The closure would be a devastating loss to the residents of Hyndburn.”

The new health hubs, accessible between 8am and 8pm daily, would be set up in Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale to try and reach people across the whole of East Lancashire.

The CCG said that no changes would be made to the Minor Injuries Units in Accrington and Rossendale, nor to routine GP opening hours, GP out of hours or Burnley’s Urgent Care Centre.

An NHS spokesman said in the proposal: “An alternative to the Health Access Centre is being considered.

“This alternative is to introduce Health Hubs in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale, rather than operating one centre for the whole of East Lancashire.

“Each of these hubs would be contactable by phone and offer access to GP services by appointment from late afternoon to 8pm Monday to Friday.

“In addition, the hubs in Burnley and Hyndburn would offer 8am to 8pm appointments on Saturdays and Sundays for all East Lancashire residents.”

For further information, contact: 01282 644627.