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Crowds turn out to support Independents for Newark and District’s campaign for 24-hour urgent care at Newark Hospital





More than 60 people assembled over the weekend to take part in a demonstration calling for 24-hour urgent care.

The Independents for Newark and District’s Walk For Urgent Care took place on Sunday, June 16, with crowds walking from Newark Marketplace to the pavements outside Newark Hospital to peacefully highlight the desire for the hospital’s urgent treatment centre to be open 24 hours a day.

65 people took part in the campaign, which began with speeches in the market place by Neil Ross, Susan Crosby, Debbie Darby and Laurence Goff.

65 people joined the Walk for Urgent Care.
65 people joined the Walk for Urgent Care.

They spoke of promises that had been made 15 years ago when the Accident and Emergency Department at Newark Hospital was replaced with 24-hour access to urgent care.

Dr Ross said the lack of 24-hour urgent care only adds further risks, worries and costs for patients who he said already face a struggle to access timely NHS Medical and Dental care when they need it.

Ms Crosby noted the huge growth of Newark population over the years, and encouraged everyone to keep fighting to get back what the town used to have.

Susan Crosby speaks at the market place.
Susan Crosby speaks at the market place.

Mrs Darby added that it was difficult and expensive for people to access urgent care at hospitals many miles from Newark, and Mr Goff spoke about the lack of public transport and his long campaign to try to keep the bus route running between Newark and Kings Mill Hospital, which was stopped some years ago.

The crowd then walked to the outer perimeter of Newark Hospital with banners and slogans, where they attracted supportive car-horn toots from passing motorists, and then dispersed quietly so as not to disturb patients, staff and emergency staff.

Campaigners outside Newark Hospital.
Campaigners outside Newark Hospital.

The Walk For Urgent Care Campaign is planning to hold further events to highlight the “lack of speedy access to medical care locally” and how much this service is needed and wanted.

In March, NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board made a decision on the future of the centre, following a period of public engagement, extending the opening hours from 8am to 10.30pm with last admissions at 9.30pm, seven days a week.

Debbie Darby addressed the crowd.
Debbie Darby addressed the crowd.

The change, set to come into effect this summer, means that the service will be open for 14.5 hours per day, which exceeds the 12-hour minimum national standard for urgent treatment centre set by NHS England.

The board stated the decision was a “a positive and sustainable way forward for Newark Hospital”, based on “flexibility for the local population, current service usage, and operational and staffing levels”.



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