Patients are still in the dark about where a new urgent care centre in Scarborough will be located.
The Castle Health Centre in York Place will cease to provide a walk-in service from the end of October and under NHS plans, a new urgent care centre will open in April.
During a public meeting at Scarborough Library, representatives from NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) gave feedback on a recent 12-week consultation into the proposals.
A presentation was given by communications manager Alex Trewhitt, which showed that 5,000 consultation documents were distributed, 571 surveys were filled in and 168 people attended meetings.
He said: “We’re not at a point where we can feed back and say this is what you’re going to get, but this is the last opportunity to acknowledge what we’ve said or tell us if we’ve missed a glaring concern.”
Mr Trewhitt acknowledged a Facebook petition in support of Castle Health Centre, which he said included some “good, qualitative comments”.
He explained that the consultation process had made it clear that location and parking were the biggest issues, closely followed by tourism and how visitors will be signposted to the new service.
Major concerns were also raised that as yet there is no clear plan in place for the six-month period from when the walk-in service ends in October to when the new service starts in April.
Mr Trewhitt said: “We’ve listened to these concerns - a lot of people are worried about the gap. We’re working with the Castle Health Centre to look at provision during that period.”
Leo McGrory, former chairman of patient group LINK, said he was concerned it may become a “watered-down service” during the interim gap.
Simon Cox, chief officer at the CCG, said: “It may not replicate the current service, but it will be as close to it as possible.”
Board members explained that in the long term, the service will be multi-disciplinary team led, with GPs available 24/7 as part of the service. However, people may not always see a GP face-to-face.
Dr Omnia Hefni, lead for secondary care, said: “The true fact is that nurses are really good clinicians. In any GP practice we rely heavily on our nurse practitioners.
“They are highly skilled and capable. To suggest it would be a watered-down service is unfair because it wouldn’t.”
Board members stressed that they could not give an indication of location at this point and refused to confirm whether the centre could be on the Scarborough Hospital site, despite repeated questions from the floor.