THE CAMPAIGN to prevent Wirral health chiefs closing down five minor injury walk-in centres is gathering pace.

A petition against plans to shut the facilities has now been signed by more than 14,000 people.

And there are 10,000 signatories to campaigns in Wallasey, Eastham and by Defend our NHS.

Now the fight has received a boost with Birkenhead MP Frank Field writing to all his constituents urging them to reject the scheme.

And Wallasey MP Angela Eagle MP is asking people to respond to save the centres.

Councillors have signed a joint statement protesting against reduction of services at Miriam Medical Centre in Birkenhead.

The controversial proposals by Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group would mean the walk-in and minor injuries facilities at Eastham Clinic, Victoria Central Wallasey, Miriam Medical Centre in Birkenhead, Parkfield Medical Centre in New Ferry and Moreton Health Clinic would all go.

Other services provided at these locations, including blood tests, would not be affected.

The plans are part of a wider urgent care consultation by the CCG, which it says is a way of pursuing a system for a “better delivery of care."

It would mean a new "Urgent Treatment Centre" at Arrowe Park Hospital, 1,400 more GP appointments per week and an urgent care service for people aged 0-19 at four locations across the borough.

Consultation began in September with the results of the survey and decision to be announced in April next year.

There has since been huge public backlash to the proposals, and at a meeting earlier this month councillors from all parties demanded the walk-in centres must be saved and alternative plans created.

Dr Abhi Mantgani, who runs Miriam minor illness and injury unit in Birkenhead - and has led the campaign with the patient group - said: “We are immensely grateful to the support we have received from the public, MPs, councillors and professionals.

"The campaign is being conducted across many GP surgeries, pharmacies, voluntary and commercial organisations across the borough.

"There is universal consensus that this scheme is not fully thought through and will lead to poor health outcomes for people in Wirral, especially vulnerable people, those living in poor areas and those without transport.”

The CCG says one of the main reasons for the changes are down to confusion caused by the current system.

It’s also to ease pressure on Arrowe Park Hospital’s overstretched A&E department.

The CCG said almost half of patients who attended the unit last year had an illness or injury that could have been treated elsewhere.

A public meeting in support of the campaign will be held on Saturday, December 8, at 11am, at the Birkenhead Medical Building in Laird Street.