Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford walk-in medical centre 'under threat'

Putnoe Medical Centre Image copyright Philip Jeffrey/Geograph
Image caption The walk-in centre is housed within the Putnoe Medial Centre in Bedford

The future of a "popular and busy" walk-in centre is "under threat", patients have been warned.

The current contract, awarded to the Putnoe Medical Centre in Bedford, runs out on 31 March.

It comes as Bedford Hospital is asking patients to to visit a "GP, pharmacist or local walk-in centre" unless they are seriously unwell.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said it was looking at options to "ensure continuation of services".

'So useful'

Anthony Forth, a Labour councillor in charge of adult services at Bedford Borough council, said: "The position is this centre is under threat and we must do everything we can to secure and guarantee its future.

"It is a popular and busy service.

"On 22 December, nearly 200 patients were treated and if that demand were to move to A&E and local services, that would increase demand and add pressure on those services."

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it was looking "a range of options" which include extending the service or a new urgent care centre being created.

One patient at the centre told the BBC it was "essential" while others described it as "so useful" and "handy".

An announcement on the centre's future is expected "in the coming weeks", a spokesperson for the CCG said.

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