Suffolk

Haverhill's Crown Health Centre will close in July

Haverhill's Crown Health Centre will close at the end of July - three months earlier than originally planned.

NHS Suffolk said the minor injuries clinic opened in 2009 with the aim of reducing hospital attendances.

The NHS said attendances had not gone down and it needed to save the £1.2m cost of running the Haverhill centre.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust is meeting with the town's three GP surgeries to talk about how the closure will affect them.

The Crown is based in two temporary pods on Withersfield Road and a decision to close it in October was made earlier this year after a public consultation.

NHS Suffolk said 900 people were registered with the Crown, which is short of the 6,000 needed to make it financially viable.

'Different picture'

Anne Gower, a Conservative St Edmundsbury borough councillor for Haverhill, said the decision had been made and they needed to "move forward and see what else is going to be offered".

"When the centre was brought to the town it was made abundantly clear that people did not have to register and it was a drop-in centre," she said.

"If they'd gone in and said you do need to register so we can make this a success, we would have seen a very different picture.

"We're going to have an influx of 800-900 people to our GPs and that is only going to make that situation with waiting for appointments even worse."

Sadie Parker, head of the PCT, said: "We will be working closely with the three GP practices [Christmas Maltings, Stourview and Christmas Maltings & Clements] to ensure that there are enough appointments available and we will be monitoring services and the impact on GPs very closely."

The PCT is meeting with the three surgeries on Wednesday to talk about the closure and funding.

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