Corby’s Urgent Care Centre will remain open - but patients may soon have to book an appointment beforehand.
The future of the centre will be decided at an extraordinary meeting of Corby CCG on Tuesday (January 30).
If approved by the governing body’s board, patients would no longer be able to walk in to the complex and have an appointment.
Instead, they will have to book on the phone or online.
Corby CCG say the plans have been directly influenced by the views of local people, following an intensive period of public engagement.
Dr Joanne Watt, clinical chair of the CCG, said: “We have listened to what people have told us and are grateful for their input.
“Their feedback has helped us shape and clarify the next steps for healthcare in Corby.”
The CCG say it intends to retain an urgent on-the-day service and increase primary care capacity such as GP-related services, ensuring an on-the-day appointment for anyone who needs one.
The site will be renamed the ‘Same Day Access Hub’ and will be open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year, deliver on-the-day care for people with minor injuries and illness, and have access to x-ray and other diagnostics.
The CCG say it will allow 12,000 extra primary care appointments a year, reduce A&E attendances and hospital admissions and be an affordable service.
But the planned move to appointment-only has not gone down well with campaigners.
Maria Bryan, from the Save Our Urgent Care Centre action group, said: “We haven’t got enough GPs in Corby as it is.
“People were using the urgent care centre wrongly but the way to fix that is not to create more appointments.
“I cannot believe that’s their way of thinking.
“People are going to be queueing up in the car park of KGH, that’s if they can find a space.
“Every week during winter we have been given messages from KGH saying people should not go there if possible, but where else will they go if they can’t get an appointment?”
Patients from outside Corby wanting to use the Hub will referred back to their own practice – unless their need is very urgent, in which case an ambulance will be called - affecting thousands of people in nearby Kettering and Rutland.
CCGs from other areas will have the option of commissioning access to the Corby Hub for their own patients, if they wish.
Because the new model of care will not be a material change to what is currently offered, Corby CCG does not need to formally consult.
However, the CCG says they are committed to continuing to involve local people and will be asking for their views on exactly how the new access arrangements should work.
From 12 February to 8 April, people can participate online or by completing and posting a printed questionnaire.
Dr Watt added: “We are now continuing our conversation with people to ask them to help us ensure access to the ‘Hub’ works for them.
“Our team will again be out and about in public places, as well as visiting community groups and workplaces.”
Corby MP Tom Pursglove said: “After a long and hard-fought campaign, I’m absolutely delighted that today Corby CCG have announced that the urgent care facilities provided at the Cottingham Road site are going to continue to be available for the longer-term, that we’re going tosee a greater commitment to improving access to our GPs which is a big priority for local people.
“People have rightly been making the argument that we need better same-day access.”