Support for Sidwell St Walk-In Centre from St James Forum

Exeter St James Forum has expressed concern over the possible closure of Sidwell Street Walk-in Centre

This facility within St James is threatened with closure as part of a review of NHS services being carried out by the Northern, Eastern and Western (NEW) Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Here is the Forum’s response to the CCG:

Dear Dr Tim Burke,

Re: Sidwell Street NHS Walk-In Centre, Exeter

At the meeting of the Exeter St James Forum Steering Group on Thursday 23 July 2015, concerns were raised about the future of, and possible closure of, the NHS Walk-In Centre on Sidwell Street, Exeter.

As an organisation representing the electoral ward in which this NHS Walk-In Centre is situated, the Forum views its possible closure with deep concern. Our ward is comprised of mixed housing, with some commercial and business premises. A great deal of the housing stock comprises of houses in multiple occupation [HMOs] with a large student and transitory population who, in many cases, are not settled enough at temporary addresses to make it possible to register with a doctor’s practice. The Exeter Sidwell Street NHS Walk-In Centre provides relatively easy access for such persons and a useful point of contact for such other services they may require.

For many of the more elderly residents in the ward, the Exeter Sidwell Street Walk-In Centre can provide a range of services and advice which pressures on other health providers can make them difficult to access. This includes dressings for minor wounds, advice on other healthcare issues and also such small, but fundamentally important, provision of items such as hearing aid batteries.

The Exeter Sidwell Street NHS Walk-In Centre also provides vital non-judgemental and impartial advice on issues like drug-related problems and sexual health issues, as seen when it featured in the BBC television series, Unsafe Sex and the City.

Without this provision and its facilities, many of the issues associated with living in an inner-city area will be exacerbated and Exeter St James Forum therefore wishes to lend its support to action which will prevent its closure, and the Steering Group was unanimous in declaring strong support for this NHS Walk-In Centre’s continuing prescence in Sidwell Street, Exeter.

Yours sincerely

Annette Plaut
on behalf of the Exeter St James Forum Steering Group

Screen shot 2015-08-09 at 08.53.29

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