THE GLOBE-backed campaign to save the borough's walk-in centres and minor injuries units is gathering pace.

A petition of more 3,800 signatures was handed to the mayor at the full council meeting at Wallasey Town Hall on Monday.

Click here to join the fight-back.

And councillors then unanimously approved a motion to oppose the closures proposed by Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group.

The signatures have been gathered at GP practices, walk-in centres and online in just a few weeks since the proposals were announced, demonstrating the strength of feeling the people of Wirral have about the closures, and the value they place on the current local services.

A consultation exercise is underway and next drop-in roadshow session will be held at the Miriam Medical Centre this Thursday, October 18, from 1pm to 4pm.

Dr Abhi Mantgani of the Miriam Medical Centre, and Alan Grice, co-chairman of the Patient Participation Group handed over the petition, and were able to address the council.

Mr Grice spoke for many patients: “People in Birkenhead love their walk-in service at Miriam, and don’t want to lose it.

"Thousands of people use the minor injuries and illness service, and we can’t see how these patients turning up at Arrowe Park is going to ease any pressure on A&E there.

“A lot of our patients would find it difficult to travel to Arrowe Park, which doesn’t have great transport links, and it is already a nightmare to park there – as well as people having to pay to travel and park, which many of our patients cannot afford.”

Doctors and patients in Birkenhead and across Wirral have expressed their deep concerns at the proposed loss of much-valued local walk-in services.

Wirral CCG are proposing to close the local walk-in centres and minor injury units in Birkenhead (Miriam Medical Centre), Moreton, New Ferry, Eastham and Victoria Central Hospital and expand the walk-in centre at Arrowe Park Hospital.

An "Urgent Treatment Centre" would be introduced at the Arrowe Park site.

Dr Mantgani, head of the GP practice at Miriam Medical Centre, believes the consultation options mean the outcome is already clear.

He said: “The options available in the CCG’s consultation are very limited, and do not include the use of the existing local sites.

"We think keeping services on the local sites like Eastham and the Miriam Medical Centre in Birkenhead, along with the other sites should be an option.

“My patients use the walk-in and minor injury and illness clinic here because it meets their needs, and we have a very high patient satisfaction rate with the service”.

The motion to Council was moved by Cllr Pat Hackett, and seconded by Cllr Steve Foulkes, and included the following:

Council is totally opposed to any outcome which would see the closure of existing walk-in facilities and minor injury and illness facilities at current urgent care locations in Wirral.

Council believes that any new model of urgent care should enhance existing facilities rather than result in closures or reductions in services.

The motion was carried unanimously, committing Wirral Council to oppose the closure of the local services.

Cllr Foulkes said: “The people of Wirral have made it crystal clear they are opposed to closing our local walk-in and minor injury services, and the Council has voted to support that view.

"We must keep these services open.”

Mr Grice wants people to ensure their voice is heard during the public consultation.

“It’s essential people make their views clear, and that we don’t lose our services because people didn’t take part," he said.

"Please come to the public meetings, and make sure the CCG answers our questions and listens to local people”.

Dr Paula Cowan, Wirral CCG medical director, told the Globe earlier this month: "Frequently patients see a nurse in a walk-in centre and they are then referred back to the GP or unfortunately into the emergency room.

“That’s something we really need to avoid.

"So what we are doing is making sure that people are seen in the place most appropriate for their clinical need.

"It’s about creating a simpler system.

“This is not about taking care away from patients – it’s about making a delivery of urgent care more appropriate to their needs, by enhancing the delivery of care for patients.”

Consultation is set to end in December.