Call to start work on new Colne health centre

Posted on November 18, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Burnley Citizen | By Peter Magill | NHS East Lancashire | 18 November 2009

A PETITION has been launched urging health chiefs to make progress on proposals for a new Pendle health centre.

Plans for Colne’s new medical hub, on the site of the former Kwik Save supermarket off Craddock Road, have been mothballed by NHS East Lancashire.

Amid fears of a cash crisis in the NHS, the former East Lancashire Primary Care Trust has temporarily called a halt to the health centre scheme.

And finance director Chris Dixon said it may not be until early next year before discussions could be held reviewing the situation.

Now local Liberal Democrats, at the request of Afzal Anwar, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Pendle, have launched a campaign urging health chiefs to bring the plans forward sooner.

Mr Anwar said: “We believe that they can and must go ahead with providing people in Colne with a state-of-the-art health centre and the services that the town now needs.

“The existing health centre is now far too small, and there is a real need to bring back some more day care services from the hospitals to a local level.

“It’s vital that the pressure of public opinion in the town is now brought to bear on the health authorities.”

Coun Sharon Davies, Pendle council Colne committee chairman, added: “We are all backing this petition and ask everyone in the town to sign.

“We are determined that all the efforts to get the NHS to buy the Kwik Save site will not be in vain.”

The delay over the health centre also raised recently by Pendle Labour MP Gordon Prentice in a face-to-face meeting with chief executive Steve Spoerry (correct) at the NHS trust’s headquarters in Regent Street, Nelson.

Mr Prentice said: “I do not want to see the Colne Health Centre become a long-term aspiration. People want it now.”

He blamed lengthy talks with Pendle council about possible sites for allowing other health projects to ‘jump the queue’ and be progressed.

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