Corby MP wants ‘complete reassurance’ urgent care centre will retain all its services

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The organisation that pays for Corby Urgent Care Centre has ‘serious questions to answer’ according to the town’s MP.

After a judicial review ruled in favour of local campaigners who said that Corby Clinical Commissioning Group should have had a proper consultation into changes at the urgent care centre, MP Tom Pursglove met with CCG directors yesterday (Wednesday).

Ahead of that meeting, he said: “I want to ask the CCG what their response is to the judicial review and what their defence is in relation to that.

“I was told categorically by the commissioners that the consultation that was carried out was appropriate for the proposal and that these statements were backed up by legal advice.

“There are serious questions that need to be answered around the legal advice that they took and I want complete reassurance that all of the urgent care services will continue to be provided because that’s what local people expect and the access to these services is vitally important.”

The Save Corby Urgent Care Centre Action Group argued at the high court this month that the ‘public conversation’ held by the CCG earlier this year was not a thorough enough consultation to justify the changes being proposed.

A judge agreed that the consultation was not good enough because the CCG had previously promised that the process would be more thorough.

The changes will see the centre in Cottingham Road lose its open access to become an appointment-only system. It will also lose its observation bays and will not automatically be open to people who don’t have a Corby GP.

Mr Pursglove said he was not against a triage system at the centre, but said this should be carried out by ‘expert engagement on the doors’ to ensure that the centre was used in the correct way.

He added that he hoped the proposals could now move forward with a proper, meaningful consultation.

After the result of the judicial review, the CCG said in a public statement that it was disappointed but respected the ruling, adding: “We have engaged intensively with the people of Corby over the past year and a half, and those views directly shaped our proposals to introduce a new Same Day Access Hub. The judge did not consider this proposal to be one which required a full consultation for us to comply with our duties as a CCG. However, he did find that the statements made last year meant the public had been led to expect a consultation. For that reason, a consultation exercise should now follow.

“We will now consider with NHS England as a matter of urgency what further actions we need to take to deliver a consultation.”

Corby CCG is responsible for using government money to ‘buy in’ the town’s primary care services from GPs, dentists, hospitals and clinics. It is currently running a bidding process to ensure that a new service provider is found for the urgent care hub, in whatever form it takes, when the contract with current provider Lakeside Plus ends in Spring 2019.