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How Slaithwaite Health Centre was saved from closure

Campaigners plan celebration after winning funding battle

Slaithwaite Health Centre, New Street, Slaithwaite

The future of a Colne Valley clinic has been secured.

An agreement has been reached between GPs at Slaithwaite Health Centre and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) after the practice faced a 44% budget cut.

It was one of thousands of English surgeries on Personal Medical Services (PMS) contracts that had been threatened with reduced funding.

A spokesperson for Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “We are delighted that an agreement has been reached on the funding that the practice will receive under the new national framework.

“Throughout the discussions our aim has been to ensure local primary care services are protected.

Residents of Slaithwaite protesting over NHS cuts to Slaithwaite Health Centre(Image: Huddersfield Examiner)

“The Local Medical Committee has very much been a part of this process and played a key role in ensuring a positive outcome.”

The health centre was one of 22 out of 38 practices on PMS contracts in Huddersfield to be threatened with cuts in 2015.

Patients from the health centre mounted a vigorous campaign which received national media coverage.

Martin Jones, of local campaign group Slawit Health Centre SOS, said: “It’s great news. It really has been an example of people power.

“We are delighted and so proud of our campaign and our fantastic local GPs.

“Our GPs have been magnificent and we’ve backed them to the hilt with the help of some local politicians, Rob Walker, Nicola Turner and our new MP, Thelma Walker.

“In addition, one very brave local patient has been steadfastly pursuing the possibility of a judicial review.”

He added: “A reduction of 44% to our health centre’s budget would have devastated the surgery, forced our GP partnership to resign their contract and, given the current shortage of GPs, could have resulted in the practice closing and a wider crisis in primary care locally.”

Slawit Health Centre SOS have organised a meeting at Slaithwaite Civic Hall on Saturday, July 15 at 2.30pm.

Dr Paul Wilding, a GP partner at the health centre, will explain the agreement and its implications for the surgery, but the meeting will also be used as an opportunity to celebrate the campaign.

MP Thelma Walker campaigning with the public to save Slaithwaite Health Centre in the Colne Valley.

The doctor, who also runs the national Family Doctor SOS campaign, said: “We are greatly relieved that this has been finally resolved and would like to thank the LMC and CCG for their input.

“We would also like to thank and acknowledge our patients and the wider community who have campaigned so effectively to support us.”

Colne Valley Labour MP Mrs Walker said: “I am really delighted for the SOS campaigners and their organisation. Their determination has really paid off.

“I am proud to have been involved as a member of that campaign.”

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