Hundreds of local people braved the wet and windy weather this weekend to join the ‘We love the Guildhall Walk-In’ campaign in Commercial Road on Saturday 7 November.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Charles Dickens ward in Portsmouth City Council’s local elections next May, led the campaign supported by a team of fellow volunteers with a street stall in a busy part of Commercial Road on Saturday.
The local clinical commissioning group is currently consulting on the future of the popular health care centre in Guildhall Walk with views being sought until January 2016. The walk-in serves over 6,000 local people, and provides health care services for the vulnerable, students, visitors and those seeking medical attention outside of usual GP opening hours.
Stephen said: “I already knew how valuable this health care service is to people in Portsmouth, because like many residents, I’ve used it in an hour of need when my own practice was shut for the weekend. But I’ve been really surprised by the number of people who stopped and spoke to us today and who have used the service and shared stories of how its helped them. Everyone we spoke to have concerns about its potential closure with lots wanting to fight with us to keep it open. We’ve been inundated with hundreds signing our petition and volunteering to help with the campaign. People really do love the Guildhall Walk-In!”
The healthcare centre is in an accessible location in the heart of Portsmouth in Charles Dickens ward. The ward is one of the most deprived areas of the country and where as many as 65% of children live in poverty.