The future of Sheffield’s NHS walk-in centre and minor injuries unit has been secured for two years after health bosses agreed to reconsider proposals to close them.
The two units had been under threat after Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) proposed replacing them with a single urgent treatment centre at Northern General Hospital last year.
However, after a lengthy consultation received thousands of objections and a 20,000 signature petition, health officials last week recommended a rethink, recommendations that have today been accepted by the CCG.
Dr Tim Moorhead, Chair of NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “We are clear that change is still needed and that urgent treatment centres will improve care for patients in Sheffield.
“There was general support for our aim to provide more urgent care in GP practices and improve access and we are committed to achieving this.
“However, given the strength of feeling and some of the issues raised during the consultation, we feel we need to look again at proposals for the adult urgent treatment centre and what this would mean for the other elements of our proposals.
“The proposals were based on the benefits of co-locating the urgent treatment centres with A&E so we want to look at whether there might be benefits in other approaches that would outweigh these.
“I hope the decision today reassures people in Sheffield that we take their views seriously and are committed to working with them, and our partners, to determine how we can best provide urgent care in the city.”
A group of protesters braved torrential rain to lobby the meeting, bursting into applause when the unanimous decision was made.
Secretary of Sheffield Save Our NHS, Deborah Cobbett, said: “We welcome today's decision and would like to thank all our supporters, the Sheffield community, and everyone who has signed the petitions and attended our events.
“It was the extent of the popular opposition which has forced this rethink as well as the formal comments from significant bodies in Sheffield, including Sheffield Council’s health scrutiny committee which took public concerns on board and recommended that proposals be sent back to the drawing board.”