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Plans to move urgent treatment centre to Darent Valley condemned by Gravesham Council

PUBLISHED: 14:19 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 30 December 2019

A new urgent treatment centre could be sited at Darent Valley Hospital but the possibility has been condemned by Gravesham Council. Picture: Google

A new urgent treatment centre could be sited at Darent Valley Hospital but the possibility has been condemned by Gravesham Council. Picture: Google

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The possibility of closing the Springhead Walk-in Centre and creating a new urgent treatment centre at Darent Valley Hospital has been condemned by Gravesham Council.

But the organisation responsible said no firm decision has yet been taken.

The authority revealed at the December meeting of the full council, members voted in favour of a motion that raised concerns over the challenges for the elderly and those unable to drive that would be caused by siting an urgent treatment centre at the hospital.

The motion read: "This council firmly condemns the potential loss of the Springhead Walk-in Centre and resolutely believes the new urgent treatment centre should be sited at Gravesend town centre."

Placing the unit at the hospital would cause hardships, it said.

The motion added: "Gravesend town centre provides adequate road, rail and bus links and following the recent consultation, the council strongly urges the Clinical Commissioning Group to decide accordingly."

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Moving the motion, council leader John Burden, said: "Around 80 per cent of the responses to the public consultation on this subject are opposed to the creation of an urgent treatment centre at Darent Valley Hospital.

"Imagine you are a Gravesham resident from the south of the borough who cannot drive, taking a bus from Vigo to Gravesend town centre, and then another from Gravesend to Darent Valley. If the buses are on time and the connections work, that's a journey in the region of 90 minutes to two hours.

"Now imagine making that journey when you feel so unwell you need to attend an urgent treatment centre. It is simply not acceptable.

"Our job is to represent the people of our borough who have spoken with one voice during this consultation. This motion supports the overwhelming majority view that is opposed to losing these services from Gravesend town centre."

The plans are the responsibility of the NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

A spokesman said: "The CCG governing body will make a decision regarding the proposals for an urgent treatment centre at a meeting on January 16, 2020. No decisions have been made."

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