A Harrow councillor has criticised proposals to change the two remaining walk-in centres in her borough to appointment-only sites.

Labour councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick voiced her concerns at plans to alter services at Belmont Health Centre, in Kenton Lane, and Pinn Medical Centre, in Love Lane.

Harrow CCG intends to transition these walk-in centres to appointment-only to “improve patient access” to health services.

It would follow the same changes seen at Alexandra Avenue Health Centre, which became appointment-only in November.

Cllr Fitzpatrick argued the plans are a result of recent Governments’ failure to protect health services in the UK.

She said: “The closure of these walk-in centres could not come at a worse time as the winter approaches and coming on top of savage cuts to public services.

“The attacks on our walk-in centres show that only Labour can be trusted to protect our health service.”

She was backed up by members of Harrow Youth Parliament (HYP) who said walk-in centres offer security to the community.

HYP’s Elia Yousf urged the CCG to “reconsider” its proposals to “maintain high levels of care for young people in Harrow”.

Harrow CCG explained the transition – which is part of a wider NHS initiative – reduces waiting times, improves patient safety and, since GPs have access to patient notes, ensures the continuity of care.

It added the initial feedback from the new set-up at Alexandra Avenue has been positive, with 60 per cent of survey respondents who previously used the walk-in centre describing it as an improvement.

It vowed to engage with the community, and the local authority, on the latest considerations, after some Harrow councillors criticised what they saw as a “lack of consultation” over the Alexandra Avenue move.

And it reiterated the fact that the new access centres will only be available to those registered with a Harrow GP – those in neighbouring Brent would have to visit a surgery in their borough.